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Full text of "Linda; or, The young pilot of the Belle Creole"

RALPH BROWN DRAUGHON 
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BY 



MRS. CAROLINE LEE HENTZ 

AUTHOR OF "ERNEST LINWOOD," "COURTSHIP AND MARRIAGE," "plANTER'S 



" "irniTATi^ " « 



NORTHERN BRIDE/ " EOLINE/ " RENA, ETC. 

Complete in one large volume, hotmd in clotJi, i^rice One Dollar ; or in two 
volumes, 2^'^fp^^' cover, for Seventy -jive Cents. 

BEAD WHAT SOME OF THE LEADING EDITORS SAY OF IT: 

^*We hail with pleasure this contribution to the literature of the South. 
Works containing faithful delineations of Southern life, society, and sce- 
nery, whether in the garb of romance or in the soberer attire of simple 
narrative, cannot fail to have a salutary influence in correcting the false 
impressions which prevail in regard to our people and institutions ; and 
our thanks are due to Mrs. Hentz for the addition she has made to this de- 
partment of our native literature. We cannot close without expressing a 
hope that 'Linda' may be followed by many other works- of the same class 
from the pen of its gifted author." — Southern Literary Gazette. 

"Mrs. Hentz has given us here a very delightful romance, illustrative of 
life in the South-west, on a Mississippi plantation. There is a well-wrought 
love-plot J the characters are well drawn ; the incidents are striking and 
novel; the denouement happy, and moral excellent. Mrs. Hentz may 
twine new laurels above her 'Mob Cap.'" — Evening Bulletin. 

"Remarkable for the deep interest of the plot and touching beauty of its 
Avell-told incidents ; some of our newspaper editors, indeed, pronounce it 
^the best story ever published.' This is certainly high praise, and from our 
knowledge of Mrs. Lee Hentz's ability, as an accomplished writer, we have 
no doubt the praise is well merited." — American Courier. 

MRS. CAROLINE LEE HENTZ'S OTHER WORKS. 

T. B. Peterson having lately purchased the stereotype plates of all the 
writings of Mrs. Hentz, he has just published a new, uniform and beauti- 
ful edition of all her works, printed on a much finer and better paper, and 
in far superior and better style to what they have ever before been issued 
in, (all in uniform style with Linda,) copies of any one or all of which 
will be sent to any place in the United States, free of postage, on receipt of 
remittances. Each book contains a beautiful illustration of one of the best 
scenes. The following are the names of these world-wide celebrated works : 

(7) 



8 MES. HENTZ'S WOEKS. 

COURTSHIP AND MARRIAGE; or, THE JOYS 
AND SORROWS OF AMERICAN LIFE. With a 
Portrait of the Author. Complete in two large volumes, 
paper cover, price One Dollar, or bound in one volume, 
cloth gilt, $1.25. 

"This work will be found, on perusal by all, to be one of the most exciting, 
interesting, and popular works that has ever emanated from the American 
Press. It is written in a charming style, and will elicit through all a 
thrill of deep and exquisite pleasure. It is a work which the oldest and 
the youngest may alike read with profit. It abounds with the most beauti- 
ful scenic descriptions ; and displays an intimate acquaintance with all 
phases of human character; all the characters being exceedingly well 
drawn. It is a delightful book, full of incidents, oftentimes bold and 
startling, and describes the warm feelings of the Southerner in glowing 
colors. Indeed, all Mrs. Hentz's stories aptly describe Southern life, and 
are highly moral in their application. In this field Mrs. Hentz wields a 
keen sickle, and harvests a rich and abundant crop. It will be found in 
plot, incident, and management, to be a superior work. In the whole 
range of elegant moral fiction, there cannot be found any thing of more 
inestimable value, or superior to this work, and it is a gem that will well 
repay a careful perusal. The Publisher feels assured that it will give 
entire satisfaction to all readers, encourage good taste and good morals, 
and while away many leisure hours with great pleasure and profit, and be 
recommended to others by all that peruse it." 

THE PLANTER'S NORTHERN BRIDE. With illus- 
trations. Complete in two large volumes, paper cover, 
600 pages, price One Dollar, or bound in one volume, 
cloth gilt, $1.25. 

*'It is unquestionably the most powei'ful and important, if not the most 
charming work that has yet flowed from her elegant pen ; and though evi- 
dently founded upon the all-absorbing subjects of slavery and abolitionism, 
the genius and skill of the fair author have developed new views of golden 
argument, and flung around the whole such a halo of pathos, interest, and 
beauty, as to render it every way worthy the author of 'Linda,' 'Marcus 
Warland,' 'Ptena,' and the numerous other literary gems from the same 
author." — American Courier. 

"We have seldom been more charmed by the perusal of a novel; and we 
desire to commend it to our readers in the strongest words of praise that 
our vocabulary aflFords. The incidents are well varied; the scenes beauti- 
fully described; and the interest admirably kept up. But the jywral of the 
book is its highest merit. The 'Planter's Northern Bride' should be as 
welcome as the dove of peace to every fireside in the Union. It cannot be 
read without a moistening of the eyes, a softening of the heart, and a miti- 
gation of sectional and most uuchristian prejudices." — iV. Y. llirror. 

"Themostdelightful and remarkable book of the day." — Boston Traveler. 

"The characters are finely drawn, and well sustained, from the begin- 
ning to the end of the work." — Boston Horning Post. 

"Written with remarkable vigor, and contains many passages of real 
eloquence. We heartily commend it to general perusal." — Newark Eagle- 



MRS. HENTZ'S WORKS. 9 

ROBERT GRAHAM. The Sequel to, and continuation 
of Linda. Being the last book but one that Mrs. Hentz 
wrote prior to her death. Complete in two large Yolumes, 
paper cover, price t5 cents, or bound in one Yolume, cloth 
gilt, $1.00. 

''The thousands •who read 'Linda, or, the Young Pilot of the Belle 
Creole,' will make haste to procure a copy of this book, which is a sequel 
to that history. Like all of this writer's works, it is natural and graphic, 
and very entertaining." — Citi/ Item. 

"A charming novel; and in point of plot, style, and all the other char- 
acteristics of a readable romance, it will compare favorably with almost 
any of the many publications of the season." — Literary Gazette. 

"We cannot admire too much, nor thank Mrs. Hentz too sincerely for 
the high and ennobling morality and Christian grace, which not only per- 
vade her entire writings, but which shine forth with undimmed beauty in 
the new novel, Robert Graham. It sustains the character which is A'ery 
difficult to well delineate in a work of fiction — a religious missionary. All 
who read the work will bear testimony to the entire success of Mrs. Hentz." 
— Boston Transcript. 

REXA ; or, THE SXOW BIRD. A Tale of Real Life. 
Complete in two Tolumes, paper cover, price Y5 cents, or 
bound in one volume, cloth gilt, $1.00. 

*'The 'Snow Bird' elicits a thrill of deep and exquisite pleasure, even 
exceeding that which accompanied 'Linda,' which was generally admitted 
to be the best story ever written for a newspaper. That was certainly high 
praise, but 'Rena' takes precedence even of its predecessor, and, in both, 
Mrs. Lee Hentz has achieved a triumph of no ordinary kind. It is not 
that old associations bias our judgment, for though from the appearance, 
years since, of the famous 'Mob Cap' in this paper, we formed an exalted 
opinion of the womanly and literary excellence of the writer, our feelings 
have, in the interim, had quite sufficient leisure to cool; yet, after the 
lapse of years, we have continued to maintain the same literary devotion 
to this best of our female writers. The two last productions of Mrs. Lee 
Hentz now fully confirm our previously formed opinion, and we unhesi- 
tatingly commend 'Rena,' now published in book form, in beautiful style, 
by T. B. Peterson, as a story which, in its varied, deep, and thrilling in- 
terest, has no superior." — American Courier. 

MARCUS WARLAXD; or, THE LOXG MOSS 

SPRIXG. Complete in two volumes, paper cover, price 
t5 cents, or bound in one volume, cloth gilt, $1.00. 

"Every succeeding chapter of this new and beautiful nouvellette of Mrs. 
Hentz increases in interest and pathos. Yv"e defy any one to read aloud 
the chapters to a listening auditory, without deep emotion, or producing 
many a pearly tribute to its truthfulness, pathos, and power." — Am. Courier. 

"It is pleasant to meet now and then with a tale like this,, which seems 
rather like a narrative of real events than a creature of the imagination." 
— N. Y. Commercial Advertiser. 



10 MES. HENTZ'S WORKS. 

EOLINE ; or, MAGNOLIA YALE. Complete in two 
volumes, paper cover, price 15 cents, or bound in one 
volume, cloth gilt, $L00. 

"We do not think that amongst American authors, there is one more 
pleasing or more instructive than Mrs. Hentz. This novel is equal to any 
which she has written." — Cincinnati Gazette. 

"A charming and delightful story, and will add to the well-merited re- 
putation of its fair and gifted author." — Southern Literary Gazette. 

HELEN AND ARTHUR. Complete in two volumes, 
paper cover, price 75 cents, or bound in one volume, 
cloth gilt, $1.00. 

"A story of domestic life, written in Mrs. Hentz's best vein. The de- 
tails of the plot are skilfully elaborated, and many passages are deeply 
pathetic." — Commercial Advertiser. 

LOYE AFTER MARRIAGE ; and other Stories. Com- 
plete in two volumes, paper cover, price 75 cents, or bound 
in one volume, cloth gilt, $1.00. 

" This is a charming and instructive story — one of those beautiful efforts 
that enchant the mind, refreshing and strengthening it." — City Item. 
" The work before us is a charming one." — Boston Evening Journal. 

THE BANISHED SON; and other Stories. Complete, 
in two volumes, paper cover, price 15 cents, or bound in 
one volume, cloth gilt, $1.00. 

" The ^Banished Son' seems to us the clie.f d'ceuvre of the collection. It 
appeals to all the nobler sentiments of humanity, is full of action and 
lieaithy excitement, and sets forth the best of morals." — Charleston Weekly 

Neios. 

AUNT PATTY'S SCRAP BAG, together with large ad- 
ditions to it, written by Mrs. Hentz, and never before pub- 
lished in any other form than this. Complete in two 
volumes, paper cover, price 75 cents, or bound in one 
volume, cloth gilt, $1.00. 

"We venture to assert that there is not one reader who has not been 
raade wiser and better by its perusal — who has not been enabled to treasure 
up golden precepts of morality, virtue, and experience, as guiding princi- 
j)les of their own commerce with the world." — American Courier. 

j^^ Copies of either edition of any of the foregoing works will be sent 
to any person, to any part of the United States, free of 2^ostage, on their 
remitting the price of the ones they may wish, to the publisher, in a letter. 

Published and for Sale by T. B. PETERSON, 

No. 102 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. 



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in 2010 with funding from 

Lyrasis IVIembers and Sloan Foundation 



http://www.archive.org/details/lindaoryoungpilOOinhent 




LINDA'S FIRST ADIED TO ROLAND LEE. 



LINDA; 



OR, THE 



YOUNG PILOT OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 



% %nk fff Stftttjtra fife. 



BY MRS. CAROLINE LEE HMxz. 

AUTHOR OF "ERNEST LIN WOOD," "COURTSHIP AND MATfRTAGE," "THE 
PLANTER'S NORTHERN BRIDE," "REN A," ETC., ETC. 



" There is a comfort in the strength of love ; 
'Twill make a thing endurable, wliich else 
"Would overset the brain, or break the heart." — Wvdsivorth. 

" I love thee, and I fee] 
That on the fountain of my heart a seal 
Is set to keep its waters pure and bright 
For Thee." Shelley. 



P Ijilair^lpljta: 
T. B. PETERSON, NO. 102 CHESTNUT STREET. 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in tlie year 1850, by 

A. HART, 

in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for tlie Eastern District of Pennsylvania. 



STEKEOTYPED BY L. JOHNSON & CO. 

PHILADELPHIA. 
PRINTED BY T. K. & P. G. COLLINS. 



n 

fSI9/f 

JUL 30 H 



LINDA; 



OR, THE 



YOUNG PILOT OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 



CHAPTER I. 



Linda Walton, at eight years of age, was the most spoiled, 
petted, warm-hearted, impulsive, generous little tyrant that 
ever ruled over a Southern plantation. Her mother, a lovely, 
gentle, pious woman, was the only being that could bend her 
strong will, direct her wild impulses, and counteract, as far 
as possible, by firm, yet mild discij)line, the baneful effect of 
her father's excessive indulgence. Little Linda had the mis- 
fortune to be a great heiress, for her grandfather, who resided 
in Louisiana, had bequeathed her a large plantation in one of 
those rich, luxiu-iant plains on the banks of the Mississippi, 
which are fertile as the borders of the Nile, with an hundred 
and fifty negroes, to convert, by their labour, the cotton, sugar, 
and rice into accumulating gold. But a far greater, deeper 
misfortune befell her, about one year previous to the period we 
have chosen to present our young heiress to the reader. That 
lovely, gentle, pious mother, who exercised such holy influence 
on the mind and heart of her child, was taken from her by 
death, and Linda was left to the guardianship of a father, 



13 



14 LIKDA; OR; THE YOTJIVG PILOT 

whose daya were passed in superintending his v^otton and his 
negroes,^ and whose eyening amusement it "vyas to pet and 
caress the little orphan, whose beauty and quick intelligence 
were his pride and delight. But the prime minister of the 
household was Aunt Judy, her nurse, since promoted to the 
rank of housekeeper. Linda had loyed her mother as few 
children of her age can love, and her grief at her death was 
so wild and extraordinary that the negroes regarded her for 
a time with superstitious terror. The child, who, in the fear- 
lessness of her sorrow, would go and sit for hours on her 
mother's grave, was an enigma they could not solve. Mrs. 
Walton had kept Linda so constantly under her own surveil- 
lance, forbidding in her presence those awful stories of ghosts 
and phantoms that so often freeze the young blood, and palsy 
the bounding limbs of childhood, that Linda had never yet 
been led, by the hand of ignorance, into the dark regions of 
the spirit-land. She remembered her mother's face, as if it 
had been the face of an angel, such as she had last seen it, so 
white, so pure, with that sweet glimmering smile death leaves 
on the lineaments of human loveliness. For a while, this 
holy presence was with her during the long day, and in the 
dreams of night. She was afraid to be passionate and rebelli- 
ous, lest that sweet, sad smile should vanish from those pale 
lips. But if time effaces the characters engraven on the 
granite surface of man's heart, how much sooner will it sweep 
over those prints traced in sand — the impressions of child- 
hood ? A little while, the angel-face came not near her in 
the sunshine of day, but when the shadows of night deepened 
round her, it would bend meekly over her and seem to listen 
to her evening prayer. A little longer, and Linda learned to 
revel in the joy of independence, to issue her little imperious 
command ; sure no mild voice would reprove, no gentle hand 
restrain, and she tried to forget the mother, who, had she 
lived; would have rebuked her waywardness and controlled 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 15 

her will. But no matter how self-willed Linda might he, let 
Aunt Judy but hind up her head with jimson leaves, and 
say she felt ^^ mighty poorly/^ she would glide noiselessly 
round her, hang tenderly on her sable neck, or pat her dark 
cheeks with her velvet hands. Sickness and sorrow were 
sacred things to her — and passion and pride subsided in their 
presence. Such was Linda at eight years old, such were the 
influences that acted on her childhood. 

One evening Mr. Walton seemed more thoughtful than 
usual. He ate his supper in silence, took Linda upon his 
knee, and watched with ominous interest the motions of Judy, 
who always presided with aristocratic dignity over the ablutions 
of the tea-cups, having two young negroes under her especial 
training, who treated her with most deferential respect, though 
they rolled their black eyes and showed their white teeth 
metaphorically behind her back. It was evident from Aunt 
Judy's air and style of dress, that she belonged to the ancient 
regime, the class of family servants who are admitted into the 
confidence of their master's household and are treated with 
kindness and affectionate familiarity. She always wore a stiff 
white turban coiled round her head, in the fashion of a cornu- 
copia — a nice, starched, checked apron, and carried a white 
napkin suspended over her left arm. Her African blood had 
not been corrupted by the base mingling of a paler stream. 
Black as ebony was her smooth and shining skin, on which 
the dazzling ivory of her teeth threw gleams bright as the 
moon on midnight. Judy had loved her gentle mistress : nay, 
more than loved — adored, reverenced her, as a being of a su- 
perior, holier race than her own. She mourned her death 
with the most unaffected grief, though she said it was a sin in 
her to mourn after her, for " mistress had appeared to her, the 
night after she died, with beautiful shining wings on her back, 
and told her she was gone to heaven, and that she must come 
and meet her there,'' 



16 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

Sincere and lasting as was the son'ow of Judy, she derived 
great satisfaction from tlie household dignity with which she 
was invested. In the mornings her white turban was seen 
shooting with meteoric swiftness from room to room, while a 
little negro trotted behind her, jingling a basket of keys, and 
Linda, like a stray sunbeam, played round and about them, 
the pet and darling of all. 

This evening Judy knew, by a kind of intuition, that there 
was something on her master's mind that he wished to com- 
municate. The manner in which he glanced into the fire — 
oh ! the glorious light-wood blaze ! — how it illuminates every 
nook and corner of the room ! — what comfort and beauty and 
radiance it imparts to the cool, autumnal nights, while through 
the open windows steals the mild fragrance of departing sum- 
mer ! The rays from the silver candelabras, the glittering 
chandeliers, are pale and cold to the effulgence of the light 
wood fire. It is the glory of the South. By this the dark 
cabin of the negro is lighted up as gorgeously as the halls of 
his master ; and with one of these magnificent torches, he can 
thread the thick labyrinths of the pine forests with unerring 
footstep. What lonely traveller ever passed near the Southern 
planter's habitation, in the darkness of night, that did not 
bless the hospitable beacon blaze that sunned the shadows of 
his path? Those tall posts, with three spreading feet, like 
the tripod of the Grecian Pythoness, surmounted by burning 
pine-knots, placed here and there in the spacious yard, seen 
through the tall, cone-shaped trees, are so many brilliant 
stars, cheering the forest gloom. 

" Linda,'^ said Mr. Walton, " would you not like to have a 
new mother ?'' 

^' A new mother V repeated Linda, fixing her large, brown 
eyes in unutterable wonder on his face. " Where is she going 
to come from ?'' 

" There is a very nice lady, who lives somewhere on this 



OP THE BELLE CREOLE. 17 

river^ who says slie is willing to be a kind mother to you, and 
I hope you will love her very much, and be a very good, quiet, 
and obedient little girl/^ 

^^ When is she coming ? How big is she ? Does she look 
like my own dear mamma ?" cried Linda, out of breath with 
wonder and curiosity. 

Judy gave Minta such a sudden twitch of the ear, that the 
cup she was wiping dropped from her hand and dashed to 
pieces on the floor. It was fortunate that Judy found a legi- 
timate channel in which her wrath could find vent, for the 
idea of a new mistress, who might deprive her of all her 
household honours, was hateful to her. She gave the unfor- 
tunate delinquent several smart slaps on either side of the 
head, muttering between each blow — 

^' You good for nothing, no account nigger; go long into 
the kitchen this minute. New mistress, sure enough. Well, 
well, old Judy's tired enough toting the keys from morning 
till night. ^Spose master thinks she not take care of things — 
no treat Miss Linda proper enough. Oh, dear, dear — the 
Lord have mercy on us ! Poor, dear mistress ! When she 
come with her beautiful spread-out wings and told me to meet 
her in heaven, I didn't ^spect — oh dear I'' 

Here the faithful creature, as if impressed with a presenti- 
ment of the evils which would follow the stranger's advent, 
bowed her head in her lap, and rocking to and fro, began to 
weep bitterly. 

Linda slid with lightning rapidity from her father's arms, 
and buried her head in the lap of her nurse. 

" I won't have a new mamma," cried she. '' Pa shan't 
bring her here. I won't have an ugly, old woman, instead of 
my sweet, pretty mamma. I won't be a good girl ; I won'i 
mind her ; that I won't." 

^^ Linda," said Mr. Walton, "you must not talk in that 
way, or I shall not love you any more ; and Judy, it is very 



18 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

vrrong in you to talk so before tlie child. I'm not at all dis- 
Batisfied with your services. I know you are faithful and 
honest; and do all you can for Linda and myself j but if I 
choose to get me a wife^ you have neither of you a right 
to dictate. It is for Linda^s good; and for the good of the 
household. She is a lady of fortune, a widow, with one 
son— '^ 

"A son I'^ exclaimed Linda, lifting her head; ^^how big 
is he V 

" Oh; he is a big boy of thii-teen or fourteen; who will be a 
brother to you, and teach you how to ride on the poney; and 
hunt squirrels in the wood." 

Linda smiled through her tearS; but Judy groaned louder 
than ever at the idea of the big boy^ whose muddy shjDea 
were going to track her shining waxed floor; and litter 'her 
clean-swept yard. 

'^I shall leave home to-morroW;'' continued Mr. TValton, 
" and I expect to find every thing in the best order on my re- 
turn. Judv, see that vour finest linen and whitest counter- 
panes are brought into service. Have a plenty of nice cakes 
and pies prepared; and dress my little girl in her prettiest. I 
know she wants her new brother to love her, and she will be 
a good girl for my sake." 

Mr. "Walton was one of those easy; good-natured men, 
whose equilibrium was never disturbed by the impulses of 
passioU; and whose will was easily swayed by the will of 
others. Conscious of the extreme flexibility of his character, 
and fearing opposition exactly where he had met it; he had 
taken the precaution to arrange every thing before mentioning 
the subj^; so that it would be impossible for him to recede 
with honour. The lady who had been recommended to him 
was very wealthy, had the reputation of being one of the best 
manager?' in the country; raised the most cotton, had the best 
disciplined negroes, was a doting mother to her own only son, 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 19 

and consequently must be a tender one to his only orphan 
daughter. 

Mr. Walton's affairs were getting into disorder, — his over- 
seer was inefficient, his negroes becoming idle and um-uly, 
Linda terribly spoiled, and Judy growing entirely too conse- 
quential. The lady in question would remedy all these evils. 
Her feminine but powerful influence would harmonize every 
jarring element; and his days would glide away in tranquil 
happiness. 

Linda, with the quick-changing feelings of childhood, began 
to think with pleasure of her new brother, and plan many 
excursions in which he was to be her protector and guide. She 
was sorry he was so old and so big ; but then he could wait 
upon her better, and carry her over the brooklets, and climb 
the trees for her, to o-et nuts and fruit. The image of a new 
mother, too, softened down into something that she longed to 
love. Notwithstanding her passionate assertion that she 
would not be good, she made an inward resolution that she 
would be so, for her strong affections yearned for more objects 
on which to shed their living warmth. 

Judy, too, finding the evil inevitable, endeavoured to culti- 
vate the grace of submission. She unlocked the store of 
snowy white linen, spread out the finest counterpanes, bright- 
ened up the family silver, and made most remarkable prepara- 
tions for a wedding feast. There was a perfect tempest in 
the kitchen among the rolling pins and beating sticks, a 
deadly massacre in the poultry yard. The little negroes were 
poking their woolly heads into the crannies and hollows after 
eggs, and Linda, in spite of Judy's remonstrances and pro- 
phecies that she would get sunburned and freckled, would be 
the first in every nest, no matter where it mignt be situated. 
At length all was ready. The floor shone like miiTors in 
their waxen varnish, through which their rich, dark veins 
ti'aced bold and gi-aceful figui-es, resembling the finest ara- 



20 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

besque j white curtains were tastefully festooned each side of 
the windows^ showing the delicate leaf-work of the vines that 
clambered round the frames ; green, odoriferous pine-boughs 
filled the chimneys, though at night to be displaced by the 
blazing knot ; vases of flowers ornamented the mantel-pieces 
and tables, and even the shelf in the passage, where the brass- 
bound bucket, with its silver-chased cocoa-nut shell-gourd, 
was always placed, was adorned in the same floral manner. 
The negroes, in their holiday dresses, were standing on logs 
or perched on the fence, watching their master's coming. 
Aunt Judy's white turban assumed its most majestic peak, 
and a pair of large, gold ear-rings and a massy finger-ring 
added to the aristocracy of her appearance. She had arrayed 
Linda in her prettiest white muslin dress and pantalettes, 
brushed her short, curly brown locks, till they were as bright 
and smooth as satin, and " blessed her little heart" a thousand 
times over. That little heart was throbbing with the most 
intense emotion. She began to conceive a great awe for the 
being for whom such splendid preparations had been making. 
She felt unhappy at her own insignificance. She was dwind- 
ling away into a mere mote in comparison with this great lady 
and her fourteen-year-old boy. She was afraid they would 
not love her ; that her father would not love her any more. 
Even Aunt Judy would not care so much about her as 
she had done. Oh, she intended to be very good, and steal 
like a sweet doveling into the downy nests of their inmost 
hearts. 

With such thoughts as these swelling and softening her 
young bosom, the little girl gazed down through the avenue 
of trees that led to the house, trying to catch the sound of 
the carriage wheels, to be the first to announce the coming of 
the travellers. Her cheeks were pale, her eyes moist. She 
clung to Aunt Judy's hand as if afraid to let her go. Was 
it instinct that led her to nestle closer to that humble friend. 



or THE BELLE CREOLE. 21 

at this moment, wKen all the happiness of her future life was 
at stake ? 

^^ There they come — there they come V she exclaimed. 
^^ Don't you see the horses ? and don't you hear the wheels 
hum V 

Aunt Judy smoothed down her apron, and leading Linda to 
the gate^i she arranged the negroes in a row on each side, 
through which the master and mistress were to pass. Minta 
and Dilsy, her two handmaids, stood next to herself and 
Linda, grinning from ear to ear. 

The carriage rolled up to the gate, and Mr. "Walton, alight- 
ing, assisted his bride to descend. She was dressed in a plain, 
lead-coloured silk, a neat white bonnet and great yeil. Her 
figure was good, but her features, being screened by the veil, 
could not be distinguished. 

" Robert, my darling, take care — you are treading on my 
dress.^' 

This was addressed, in very soft, tender accents, to a tall, 
rough-looking, but handsome boy, who bounced out of the 
carriage before his mother had placed her foot on the ground, 
shoving her unceremoniously on one side, and stamping his 
feet with violence, to wake them up, he said. 

Judy folded her hands over her waist, and dropped several 
deep curtsies. 

^' "Welcome home, mistress. Hope to see you very well, 
mistress." 

The lady made a little nod, but said nothing. 

" This is my daughter, my little Linda," said Mr. Walton, 
taking Linda's trembling hand, and drawing her towards him. 
" Linda, this is your new mamma ; you must be a good girl, 
and she will love you very much." 

The lady stooped down, kissed her through her veil, said 
she " was very fond of good little girls," and the new mistress 
passed under the shadow of the oak trees that hung over the 



22 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

piazza, crossed the threshold, and entered the mansion where 
she was henceforth to preside, for weal or for wo. 

The young Eobert was obliged to give vent to his super- 
fluous activity, after being pent up so long in the limits of a 
carriage, before he could submit to any in-door restraints. 
He pulled the woolly locks of Judy's handmaids elect, till 
they screamed, swung Linda half a dozen times round him in 
the air, then laughed to see her fall from dizziness, set the 
dogs after the geese, and the cat after the dogs, — making 
more commotion in three minutes than a well-bred youth 
would in so many years. Judy tried in vain to keep down 
her hot African blood. 

" Never mind ! never mind !" muttered she, brushing the 
dirt from Linda's muslin frock, and smoothing her disordered 
ringlets. '^New mistress, sure enough; new master, too; 
one master plenty. Knock her down, he'll eat green persim- 
mons for his supper." 

Linda dared not open her lips. She was terrified by his 
violence as much as she was disgusted by his rudeness. Her 
spirit quailed before his bold, wicked-looking, black eyes, and 
the love which had been welling forth to meet this brother, 
companion, protector, flowed back to the fountain. She 
walked slowly into the house, curious to see the face of the 
strange lady, whom her father had married. 

Mrs. Walton stood by the window watching the gambols of 
her son, so absorbed in the contemplation she noticed not the 
entrance of the child, who gazed so earnestly and wistfully 
on her. Could the little step-daughter read the tablet of that 
smooth, cold countenance ? It required greater skill in phy- 
siognomy than Linda possessed, but she had an intuitive per- 
ception of character, and there was something in those thin, 
compressed lips, pale blue eyes, with almost white eyelashes 
and brows, that struck her very chillingly. She had the 
shining forehead, caused by the tight-drawn skin; sandy hair^ 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 23 

parted with elaborate precision ; and her light eye-brows were 
strained into a high arch^ as if trying to remove as far as pos- 
sible from the stony, passionless orbs below. Linda looked 
and wondered what made her fath'er love such a woman. He 
was so handsome himself, and her mother was so lovely. She 
did not know, foolish child, how little love had to do with 
this eligible second marriage, — this marriage of recommenda- 
tion and convenience — of policy and prudence. 

^^ Oh, I shall never love her V whispered Linda^s sinking 
heart; "and she will never love me. And there will be no 
use in my trying to be good.'^ She turned a reproachful 
glance at her father, thinking she could not love him half as 
well as before ; but he looked so kindly and affectionately at her, 
and opened his arms so lovingly, that she rushed into them, 
and burying her head in his bosom, cried and sobbed aloud. 

" What makes her cry ?'' said Mrs. Walton, in that soft, 
peculiar voice which startled one, from its want of harmony 
with her face. " I hope she is not afraid of me. Kobert, 
dear," continued she, putting her head out of the window 
"don't exercise c|uite so much. It will make you sick. 
Don't, Robert, make quite so much noise. Dear fellow I'' 
turning with a smile to Mr. Walton, " he is so full of life and 
spirit, he does not know what to do. He has been still so 
long, too. You will get accustomed to his little sportive ways, 
I trust.'' 

" Oh, boys will be boys," said he, with a slight embarrass- 
ment of manner. " But you must not think my little girl ia 
crying from fear of you. She's tired and excited, and over 
glad to see me. That is all. You will find her a good deal 
spoiled, but her heart is in the right place. Win that and 
you can do any thing in the world with her." 

" I have no doubt we shall be good friends by and by," 
said Mrs. Walton. "We must give her time to get ac- 
quainted." 



24 LINDA; OR^ THE YOUNG PILOT 

Who ever heard of children's wanting time to get ac- 
quainted ? The spark darts not more instantaneously along 
the electric chain than the glance of affection into the heart 
of a child. Time I — the heart of a young child is full^ brim- 
ming with love. Give it an outlet, and it gushes forth a crys- 
tal stream, carrying freshness and beauty wherever it flows. 

Had the step-mother only laid her hand gently on the 
drooping head, imprinted one kind kiss on the moist check of 
Linda, the child would have loved her, in spite of her chilling 
exterior ; but no kiss or caress was proifered, and Linda only 
clung closer to her father's bosom, assured that he loved her 
still, and would continue to love her. 

Y/hen supper was announced. Master Robert came in with 
a thundering noise, scraping his shoes, not on the nice mat by 
the threshold, but on the bright floor. 

'^Please, young master," said Judy, almost choking with 
suppressed anger, '■'- please wipe your shoes on the mat." 

'•'• Hold your tongue, old unicorn !" he exclaimed, shuffling 
as hard as he could. "If you don't mind what you say, I'll 
smash that tower on the top of your head as flat as a pancake. 
And you, you great goggle eyes,'^ said he, turning to Minta, 
who, at a signal from Juda, was following him on all-fours, 
wiping his tracks with a tremendous flourish of the house- 
cloth, '•'■ if you don't stop chasing me with that old rag, I'll 
make you see through the back of your skull." 

" Robert," ejaculated the soft voice of his mother, " don't 
speak qidte so loud; and come to supper, my dear. You 
must be hungry by this time." 

Robert obeyed the summons with alacrity, and was the first 
to seat himself at a table literally covered with dainties. 
Linda, who had been taught by her mother that there was 
nothing so disgusting as gluttony and ill-breeding at table, and 
that young persons should always wait modestly till elder 
ones were served, instead of calling upon the servants to wait 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 25 

upon them first, witnessed with indignant astonishment the be- 
haviour of Robert. He ordered the servants here and there in 
the most insolent manner, when they were waiting on others j 
filled his plate with cake, waffles, wafers, sweetmeats, and meat, 
at the same time scattering crumbs over the white table-cover, 
and spilling his coffee every time he carried it to his mouth. 

^^Here, give me some more sugar, possum,'' cried he to 
Dilsy, having christened her already with that charming nick- 
name. " What sort of slop do you call this V Then filling 
his cup half full of loaf sugar, he declared it was not fit to 
drink, and pushing it back so suddenly that the contents flew 
into the preserve dishes and butter plates, he called for a 
tumbler of butter-milk, which was no sooner received than he 
issued his orders for a glass of water. After having eaten 
voraciously of every thing on the table, asking all the time 
what stuff this was, and what thing that, he leaned back in 
his chair with a loud hiccup, and began to drum his feet 
together under the table. His mother occasionally put in a 
"donH Robert,'^ or ''be patient, dear;" but she seemed not 
to have the faintest perception that the comfort of others 
could be disturbed by his youthful impetuosity, as she called 
it. Mr. Walton tried to look pleased and cheerful, but even 
Ms imperturbable good nature was tried beyond endurance. 
Was this the commencement of his tranquil domestic life, on 
which his fancy had been luxuriating ? Was the woman who 
had allowed her own son to arrive at his present years, with- 
out exerting one restraining influence on his animal propen- 
sities, till they had acquired a giant's strength and a tyrant's 
power one who was fitted to act a mother's part to his affec- 
tionate and wayward child ? Was she worthy to be the suc- 
cessor of his sweet and holy-minded wife ? 

Ah ! Mr. Walton, these mental interrogatories are made 
too late. You never even saw the woman to whom you have 
given the sacred name of wife, till all necessary prelimiuariea 



26 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

had been arranged by a mutual friend. You never saw tho 
graceless boy, whom you must now acknowledge as a son, till 
you went to breathe the marriage vows, and swear before Grod 
and man to love and cherish his mother, till death did ye 
part. You were told it was an eligible match ; that she was 
a great manager, and looked well to the ways of her house- 
hold. You thought it too much trouble to take a long journey 
to see her beforehand, and judge of her feminine attractions. 
She had one husband, and that was a surety for her charms. 
The heyday of your youth was past, and the golden tints of 
romance faded into the gray tints of reality. It is true, when 
you first met this future bride, and beheld those pale, hard- 
looking eyes, those high arched, white brows, and those thin, 
pinched lips, your heart-springs recoiled with a sudden jar 
that destroyed the delicate machinery within. And when that 
darling boy of hers first exhibited his rare domestic accom- 
plishments, several cold shudders ran through your frame, pre- 
monitory symptoms of future wretchedness. The image of 
your first love stole across your memory, in all the freshness 
of her virgin beauty, the delicacy of her matron loveliness, 
and you tried to shut it out. Your little Linda, too ; you 
thought of her and sighed, and wished you had not been so 
precipitate, had exercised your own judgment instead of fol- 
lowing blindly the counsels of others. But it was too late : 
your honour as a gentleman was pledged, and you could not 
retract. You would probably get accustomed to all this, and 
become reconciled to your lot. Yes ! and your child will be- 
come accustomed to have all her warm affections driven back 
into her breast, and turned to fiery scorpions there. She will 
be accustomed to the icy rod that will rule her by night and 
by day ; to the goad that spurs when weary nature sighs for 
repose, to the rein that chafes when the roused spirit bounds 
for action. — ^' But know thou, for all this, thou shalt be 
brought unto judgment." 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 27 



CHAPTEE II. 

As Aunt Judy iiacl anticipated^ tlie keys were taken from 
her possession, and slie was reduced to the level of a common 
servant. This was a sad wound to the faithful creature's 
pride, for she had watched over her master's interests with 
scrupulous fidelity and real attachment. But this was not all 
the humiliation she was called upon to suffer. She, as well 
as the other household servants, had always partaken of the 
same food that was placed on theu' master's table, and they 
had never been stinted in their portion. It is true, they 
waited till his board was served, and his room swept and gar- 
nished; but then their meals were partaken in uninterrupted 
enjoyment and with contented spirits. The new Mrs. Wal- 
ton made a material change in this arrangement. The meal 
was measured and the bacon weighed for their daily food, 
and whatever dainties were left upon the table were set aside 
for Master Robert's luncheons. She discovered that it was a 
great waste to supply servants with sugar, and that coffee was 
very bad for their constitutions. But the greatest trial and 
mortification poor Judy was doomed to suffer, was the with- 
drawal of Linda from her influence and presence. 

'^ Linda has been left entirely too much with the negroes," 
said Mrs. Walton to her husband. " I can do nothing with 
her while Judy stays in the house and interferes with my au- 
thority. I shall put Judy in the weaving-room, and Minta 
and Dilsy in the spinning-room. I have servants of my own, 
already trained, whom I shall substitute in their place.'' 

What could Mr. Walton say ? She was literally conform- 
ing to his wishes, in separating Linda from her sable com- 
panions, and in superintending her constantly with her own 



28 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

eye ; but lie could not, without many secret pangs, see the 
faithful servants, who doated on his child, banished from the 
household, and strangers fulfilling their duties with coldness 
and constraint. Linda was outrageous when she learned the 
new organization of the family. She declared that ^^ Aunt 
Judy shouldn't be put out of the house ; that she would go and 
live in the weaving-room ; that pa ought to be ashamed to let 
his old servants be treated so bad ) that she was an heiress, 
and a big heiress, and she had a right to be minded.'' 

Having for the first time burst through the bonds of fear, 
her long pent-up feelings — her sense of wrongs and degrada- 
tion — her- hatred and wrath — refused to be restrained ; she 
wept and stamped her little feet in the impotence of her rage. 

"Take that child up stairs," said Mrs. Walton, without 
raising her voice in the least, to one of her own strong-armed 
slaves ; " take her up stairs." 

Mr. Walton, however his judgment might be convinced 
that she deserved punishment, could not bear to see her car- 
ried out of his sight, where he knew not what penalty would 
be inflicted on her. The feelings of the father were roused. 

" Put that child down," said he, with authority. " I will 
take her away myself." 

" Mr. Walton," said his lady, softly, " my servants must 
obey me, and I allow no one to interfere. You must leave 
the management of that child to me." 

The child was borne screaming from the room, stretching 
out her arms to her father and crying out till he could hear 
her no longer. 

" Please, pa, please take me with you V* 

Had Mr. Walton at this moment exerted the spirit of a 
man and a father; had he rescued his child from the iron 
despotism that was beginning to coil around her ; had he him- 
self administered needed rebuke, mingling wise counsel with 
words of love, what a blessed change he might have wrought ! 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 29 

But there was sometliiiig paralyzing in tlie influence of that 
unchanging eye, that unvarying tone, the soft '^ shall" and 
^^ will," that was always issuing from those thin lips. Like many 
other easy-tempered, weak-willed men, he yielded to a power 
he loathed and despised, and became a passive instrument of 
evil. 

The next time he saw his little daughter, she was sitting in 
a low chair by her step-mother, busily engaged in making 
patch-work. She had a subdued, sullen air ; her eyes were 
red and swollen, and every now and then she drew a long 
breath, like the last sigh of a tempest. She raised not her 
eyes at her father's entrance, nor bounded to meet him, as she 
was wont to do. Through and through, and through again, 
went her long-threaded needle, though a tear that dropped on 
the bright calico showed that she could not see very well 
where it was going. 

^' Linda, my darling," said the self-upbraiding father, "come 
and sit in my lap, and show me that pretty work you are 
doing." 

"I have given her a task," replied Mrs. Walton, " and she 
must finish it before dinner." 

" She has never been used to confinement," Mr. Walton 
ventured to say, " and I am afraid it will make her sick." 

" Shame to those who have had the charge of her," said 
Mrs. Walton, " that she is not used to it. A child of eight 
years of age is old enough to be taught habits of industry 
and propriety. I do not confine my son, for I wish him to 
have a manly and independent character; but girls are very 
different. The domestic virtues must be cultivated in them." 

*' But I should think that an hour at a time," continued 
Mr. Walton " 

*' Mr. Walton, I wish to be thoroughly understood in this 
matter," interrupted she, quietly; " when we married, you 
asked me to take charge of vour daughter and be a mother to 



30 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

her. A lady must be a mucli better judge tban a gentleman 
of tbe education of a young girl. Linda bas promised to 
obey me, and I mean sbe shall. And one thing, let me say, 
Mr. Walton, I have never allowed any one to interfere with 
my domestic arrangements, and I never will.'^ 

This was unanswerable ; at least not a word was uttered in 
reply. Mr. Walton gazed upon Linda, who sat sewing and 
sewing without lifting her eyes, heaving those long-drawn 
breaths, which sound as if they came from under a leaden 
weight. What spell had converted the passionate little rebel 
into that silent, plodding seamstress ? Untie her muslin 
apron ; look at those purplish streaks on her tender back, and 
the secret of her submission may be discovered. 

It was the first time that personal chastisement had ever 
been applied to Linda. Her own mother had always been 
able to subdue her without having recourse to a means which 
should be the last exercise of parental authority; and her 
father had never lifted his hand to smite a slave, much less 
his child. At first, the shame and the insult maddened her 
to wilder rebellion, and she cried out, between every blow, '^ I 
don't care ; you may kill me ; but I won't mind.'^ At length 
physical sufi'ering triumphed over pride and self-will. She 
pleaded for pardon, and promised obedience. That promise 
once given, she resolved to obey. A high sense of honour, 
remarkable in so young a child, made her attach a solemn 
obligation to her word. 

She would not complain to her father, for it would do no good. 
She would not complain to Aunt Judy, for they would whip 
her too. She would try to submit, and never again expose 
herself to the burning shame and smarting pain of the lash. 

When her day's task was completed, and she was allowed 
to go out in the open air for a while, she flew to Aunt Judy's 
room, who almost smothered her with caresses. But Linda's 
smarting back writhed mnder the pressure oi" her arms. 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 31 

" Oh; you hurt me, Aunt Judy ; you hurt me so V 

The quick eye of the nurse caught a glimpse of the dark- 
ening stripes. The poor creature " lifted up her voice and 
wept aloud. ^^ She kissed the delicate skin a thousand times 
over between each purple line, murmuring the name of her 
^'poor, dear, dead mistress.'^ 

^' Oh, Lord, have mercy on us !" she cried. '' I never 
'spected to come to this. Bless her little soul and body ! If 
it had been poor Judy's back, she no mind it one bit. But 
this little, white, tender creature ! — Oh, Lord, Lord ! what 
will become of that awful woman at the day of judgment, 
when poor, dear mistress stand there with beautiful white 
wings on, and a golden harp in her hand ? She stay way off; 
way off by the black pit, all black hisself — howling I" 

Judy did not call upon the name of the Lord in vain, as 
too many do, in the moment of strong excitement. She was 
sincerely and devoutly pious. She believed in the judgments 
of the Almighty and the retributions of eternity. She be- 
lieved the blood of a Saviour had power to cleanse the sins of 
the African as well as the white man, and that, if she trusted 
in Him for salvation, she would be a beautiful white angel in 
heaven. It is true, her ideas of spiritual happiness were very 
dim and obscure. Her visions of heaven consisted of golden 
streets and golden harps, and white-winged spirits, and of 
an exceeding great glory. 

She often imagined she saw wondrous sights and heard 
wondrous things, and she described them sometimes with an 
eloquence that might inspire belief. But of that invisible 
glory of holiness which fills the inner temple of the soul, that 
heaven of purity and faith begun in the heart in this world, 
poor Judy had but a faint conception. 

From this time, the life of little Linda assumed a character 
of dreary monotony. Day after day she sat in her little 
chair, drawing her needle through and through the evexlast- 



82 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

ing patchwork; with a look of sad and oft-times sullen endur- 
ance, clouding her late joyous countenance. She was as the 
sparkling fountain imprisoned within marble tablets; the bird, 
with an iron weight fastened to its heaven-plumed wing ; the 
rosebud; enveloped in a leaden case. While she was tied 
down regularly to her morning and evening tasks, Eobert was 
permitted to roam at large, in all the glory of independence, 
making anarchy and uproar wherever he went. He never 
came near her without pulling her hair, pinching her arms, 
pulling her chair from under her, sticking pins into her, and 
performing various other interesting experiments. At first, 
she shrieked and resisted ; but finding the more she seemed 
to feel the torments he inflicted, the more he redoubled them, 
she learned to bear them with the unflinching fortitude of the 
Spartan boy ; and Robert, deriving no amusement from the 
system of passive endurance, turned the artillery of his mis- 
chief in other directions. 

Mrs. WaltoU; who had perceived from the flrst, the instinc- 
tive dislike of Linda, conceived a hatred for the child, which 
grew with the powers she exercised over her. Day by day 
she imposed upon her new restraints, and diminished; as far as 
possible; the scanty store of enjoyments left to her desolate 
childhood. Linda had a little room, opening into her father's, 
where she had slept since her mother's death. Though, as it 
has been said before, she was a fearless child and not afraid 
of the ghost-peopled realms of the dark, she loved her little 
room, and its contiguity to her remaining parent. It was 
pleasant when she awaked in the night to hear his breathing 
near ; it was pleasant in the bright morning to hear his voice 
calling her to awake, ^^ for the sun was up; and the little birds 
Kinging about the windows.'^ 

One evening, when tired and listless she sought her little 
couch, she was surprised by seeing a larger bed in its place, a 
finer counterpane, and an air of superior comfort about the 



or THE BELLE CREOLE. 33 

room. She turned to her step-motlier with a glow of grati- 
tude lighting up her whole face. 

^^ Oh^ how nice it looks/^ she exclaimed. ^^ What a pretty 
counterpane — what nice curtains, — and did you fix it this fine 
for me ? How very, very good." 

^' Master Robert is going to have this room," said the negro 
who now waited upon her, one of Mrs. Walton's trained ser- 
vants. 

" He shan't I" exclaimed Linda, passionately, forgetting in 
her overwhelming astonishment her promise of implicit obe- 
dience. " He shan't have it — it's mine — next to my own 
dear papa's. He is a great big boy, and ought to be ashamed 
to want to sleep here. This is pa's house, and I'm an heiress, 
and I won't give it up !" 

Pale with passion now looked that young face so lately il- 
luminated with the glow of gratitude. The spoiler had entered 
her secret sanctuary and robbed her of her household gods. 

" Robert has always slept near me," calmly replied Mrs. 
"Walton, " and I mean he shall do so still. I expected to find 
proper arrangements for him when I came, but as no one 
thought of his comfort, I have provided for it myself. Here, 
Nelly, take Miss Linda to her new apartment, and if she 
shows the lest rebellion, let me know it. Another word of in- 
solence shall not pass unpunished." 

The vision of the disgracing lash, its whizzing sound, the pain, 
the smart, the shame, passed before the mind of the outraged 
child. One look from those dark brown eyes flashed on the 
step-mother's impassive face, then turned on the walls, en- 
deared by the memory of a mother's tenderness and a father's 
care, one long, deep sigh, and the child passed on to the remote, 
comfortless apartment prepared for her reception. It was a 
large, unplastered room, almost entirely destitute of furniture. 
The shadows hung in gloomy wreaths from the dark rafters, 
scarcely lighted up by the dim candle which Nelly placed on 



34 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

a table of red-stained pine. It was a room wliicli the first 
Mrs. Walton had used as a lumber-room, little imagining her 
orphan daughter would ever be driven there by the cruelty of 
a tyrannizing successor. 

Let it not be supposed that the author of this tale would 
cast an odium on that class of females called to fulfil the 
duties of step-mother. There are many who carry to this 
difficult and responsible situation the holiest purposes and 
tenderest afi'ections; who, standing in the place of the de- 
parted, feel the solemnities of death hallowing the duties of 
life j who, feeling themselves called to a sacred mission, gird 
up their spirits to the task, even though ingratitude and neg- 
lect and misconception may be their best reward. There are 
those who bind up with gentlest hand the wounds of orphan- 
age ; revive with the dew of tenderness and the smile of en- 
couragement the withering garlands of household joy, and 
convert the home, which death has made desolate, into a 
dwelling of peace and happiness and love. Blessings, endless 
blessings, cluster round these ministering angels of earth. 
The spirits of the dead hover around them, shedding balm 
from their refulgent wings. The prayers of innocent child- 
hood go up to the heaven of heavens in their behalf, and the 
heart of widowed love and sorrow reposes in hope and confi- 
dence on their faithful bosoms. Oh, that one of these blessed 
ministering angels had been sent to watch over little Linda ! 

She sat down in that large, dark room, on the foot of her 
little bed, and looked all around it with a slow, melancholy gaze. 
She seemed to take in at last the realities of her situation, and 
the dreariness of her life's future rose appallingly before her. 
With the instinctive feeling of dependence on Grod, which leads 
the human heart to turn to him when earthly comforts fail, 
she opened her trunk, and, taking out her mother's Bible, 
knelt down at the foot of the bed, and began to search for 
some passage which that dear mother had taught her to read 



or THE BELLE CREOLE. 85 

" I remember/^ said the child to herself, ^^ something about 
God's hearing the young ravens when they cry, and about his 
seeing the little sparrows when they fall. She turned the 
leaves without finding the text she sought^ when, by chance, 
her eye caught some words which arrested her attention : 
" When my father and mother forsake me, then the Lord will 
take me up." She read these again and again. She read 
them to herself, then repeated them aloud. ^' Oh !'^ thought 
she, " the Lord will take care of me, for there is no one but 
Grod and Aunt Judy to love me now.'^ Large tears roiled 
down her cheeks and fell on the leaves of her Bible. She 
was very sorry she had given way to such a burst of passion, 
for she was afraid the Lord would not love her for it ; but 
she would pray to him to forgive her, and she would promise 
never to do so any more. 

The negro Nelly, whose own pallet was spread near Lirfda's 
bed, and who had thrown herself across it, looked with a kind 
of awe upon the child, with her innocent hands clasped to- 
gether and her tearful eyes raised to heaven. She hated her 
despotic mistress ; and though, from fear of offending her, she 
spoke in a harsh tone to Linda before her face, her naturaL 
sense of right revolted from being made the passive instru- 
ment of oppression. She hated Master Eobert too, the noisy, 
pampered, selfish tyrant, and thought it a shame that he 
should be installed in Miss Linda's pretty, quiet room. She 
thought all this when Linda was giving vent to her burning 
anger, and asserting her rights with such passionate vehe- 
mence : but now, when she saw her subdued to such patient 
meekness, reading her Bible, then praying with such a holy 
look, the negro's heart grew blacker and blacker towards her 
mistress, and tenderer and softer towards her young victim. 

^^ Never mind, young missy," said she, after spreading the 
clothes carefully over her, ^^I rather be in your place thac 
hers, any how. She be sorry bimeby, you see, if she ben't. 



36 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

Massa Robert give lier trouble enough hisself ^fore long. 
Never mind; lie pay her for treating little missy so bad. Oh, 
lud ! lud ! think of Massa Robert in Miss Lindy's nice little 
room ! He eat; stuff hisself all day long; then turn and toss 
and make hisself sick all night." 

Linda fell asleep with the gutteral accents of the negro 
murmuring in her ear. 

When Mr. Walton retired for the night, he went; as was his 
custom; to look at his sleeping child; and to indulge in those 
affectionate meditations which the poor man habitually re- 
pressed in the presence of his wife. What was his astonish- 
ment to see a boyish; sunburned face ; a shock of thick; black 
hair spread about on the pillow — in short; the slumbering 
beauties of Master Robert; instead of his own lovely little 
girl. 

" What is all this ?'^ cried he to Mrs. Walton, in a tone 
louder than he had ever dared to use before ; '•'• what is that 
great boy doing there ? And what have you done with my 
child V 

^^Fve given her another room," replied the soft; hissing, 
serpent voice. ^^ Robert is to have her's now. He's very apt 
to be sick in the night, and it is not safe for him to be by 
himself. I always had him near me at homO; and I mean he 
shall be now." 

^^Rut Where's Linda? what have you done with her?" 
cried the father; wiping the thick drops of perspiration from 
his brow. 

^^ She's in a very comfortable room. But you needn't 
speak so loud, Mr. Walton. You'll wake Robert; and I can't 
have him disturbed." 

^^ I'll wake him with a vengeance;" exclaimed Mr. Walton, 
the feelings of the indignant father getting the mastery of 
the husband's grovelling fears. '^I'll rouse him from his soft 
nest with a witness. HerO; you lubberly rascal; you great 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 37 

selfish baby you, get up and tell me wliat you've done with my 
poor, precious, little Linda." 

"Let me alone, let me alone," cried Robert, shaken and 
roused by no very gentle grasp. " Mother, make him let go." 

" You had better not touch that child !" exclaimed the 
mother, pushing her husband back with a force that sent him 
reeling against the wall. There was something terrific in the 
pale passion of her stony eyes and ashy lips, that white heat, 
so intense and fearful. She fixed those eyes upon him with 
such a moveless, metallic glare, he became weak and passive 
as the bird, when fascinated by the gaze of the rattlesnake. 
" If you ever touch that boy again, you'll rue the hour that 
you was born." 

" I rue it now," groaned the 'miserable father, and taking 
his lamp in his desperate hand, he went into the long passage 
which extended from his own chamber to a wing of the man^ 
sion. He opened the fii'st room, for there were several lead- 
ing into this passage. It was a chamber handsomely furnished 
for company, and so was the next. He went on, till he found 
the large, unplastered room to which Linda was consigned, 
like a piece of useless rubbish, not worth the keeping. There 
she lay, in the sweet, deep sleep of innocence and childhood ; 
one round, white arm drooped from the side of the bed, on the 
other her cheek was pillowed. Her eye-lashes were still moist 
with tears, but there was an air of placid sweetness and resig- 
nation diffused over her countenance that melted his inmost 
soul. Scorn him as you will, that weak, woman-ruled man, 
but pity him too. Did you ever read the story of the prisoner, 
who was immured in an iron cell, with two or three grated 
windows ? How one by one those grated windows closed up, 
the iron walls grew narrower, and more narrow, till the shrink- 
ing, suffocating victim felt himself crushing in his iron coffin ! 
Thus imprisoned, and galled, and hopeless of escape, within a 
constantly narrowing cii'cle of domestic joys, narrowing and 



38 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

darkening every day, lived the rich, married widower. Why 
does he not claim the glorious prerogative of manhood, and 
become the lord of his household ? Alas ! he has an imbe- 
cility of mind, an infirmity of purpose, a cowardliness of 
heart, that makes it a moral impossibility. He can no more 
shake off that woman's yoke from his neck than the stream 
bound by winter's cold chains can shake the superincumbent 
weight of ice from its bosom. He kneels by the bedside of 
the sleeping orphan — he buries his face in the sheets that 
cover her — he weeps in bitterness of soul — he mom^ns in dust 
and ashes over the evil he has brought upon her — he prays 
G-od to forgive him his blindness and folly — ^but he yields ! 
He returns in silence to his own apartment, and lies down on 
his wretched couch. 

Nelly's description of the manner in which Master Eobert 
passed his nights was fully verified. He groaned and tumbled 
about, and bawled out to his mother for peppermint and pare- 
goric, and the tender parent rose and ministered to his wants, 
and tried to soothe her darling to sleep, with fond maternal 
caresses, unmindful of the little motherless exile in the dark, 
raftered room. 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 39 



CHAPTER in. 

While the internal affairs at Mr. Walton's presented so 
unhappy an aspect, the external state of things wore an ap- 
pearance of manifest improvement. The negro cabins were 
white-washed, the fences repaired, the wheels were all hum- 
ming and buzzing, the shuttles flying, and the negroes 
kept busy from early morn to latest eve. The traveller, 
gazing on the luxuriant woods, and catching a glimpse 
of Pine Grrove, with its broad-winged, hospitable-looking 
dwelling-house — its row of neat, white out-buildings and 
well-trimmed shade-trees — would inquire the owner's name, 
and he would be told that it belonged to Mr. Walton, a rich 
planter, who had lately married a rich widow, one of the best 
managers in the country, who would soon double his property 
and turn every inch of his land into gold and silver. Mr. 
Walton was an envied man. 

Linda became reconciled to her change of apartments, and 
told her father she would not go back if she could — an assu- 
rance which relieved his mind of an intolerable burden. The 
truth was, the farther she was removed from her dreaded step- 
mother, the happier she was, and Nelly was become as warm 
a friend and as faithful an ally as ever Aunt Judy had been. 
She permitted her to sit up and read after Mrs. Walton had 
sent her to bed, rolled up pieces of white cloth, and sewing 
strips of hems across for arms, dressed them in calico, and 
called them dolls, for her juvenile nursery, and brought her 
many a little luxury, surreptitiously obtained, of which her 
mistress little dreamed. Her windows, too, looked out upon 
a beautiful creek, and she loved to watch the bright waters 
sparkling in the morning sun-beams, or flowing with golden 



40 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

lustre when gilt by his evening rays. Her spirit went out 
over the waters like the dove of the ark, and longed to find 
some green resting-place — some little flowery isle — where there 
was nothing hut love and peace. 

A circumstance soon occurred which interrupted the mo- 
notonous tone of her feelings, and called forth a courage and 
self-devotion scarcely paralleled in so young a child. Judy 
had incurred the displeasure of Mrs. Walton to such a degree 
that she declared the faithful creature should be sold. A 
speculator was in the neighbourhood, and she determined to 
avail herself of so favourable an opportunity. She had so 
completely taken the reins of government into her own hands, 
that her laws were considered immutable as the Modes and 
Persians. Her word was the fiat of fate. Nothing was left 
but submission. This arrangement had been kept very secret ; 
but Nelly, who had received some stolen knowledge of it, told it 
in confidence to Linda one night after she had retired to bed. 
At this intelligence, the afi'ectionate child wrung her hands 
and wept bitterly. She had learned the impotence of rage, 
and no longer exclaimed, as she would have done in months 
past, ^^ She shan't be sold.'' She had a horrid idea of these 
cruel speculators, and would a thousand times rather see poor 
Judy in her grave than sold to one of these hard-hearted men. 
She must save her own kind nurse from such a terrible doom. 
But how ? An appeal to her father would be vain, who never 
acted in open opposition to his wife's will. After her parox- 
ysm of tears had subsided, she lay with her hands clasped 
over her eyes a long time, revolving gi-eat schemes in her 
young brain. At length, leaning forward on her elbow, she 
exclaimed — 

'^ To-morrow, did you say, Nelly ? Will she be sold to- 
morrow ?" 

a Yes — the coming to-morrow, after dinner ; so T hear mis- 
tress spy '^ 



or THE BELLE CREOLE. 41 

" Nelly — please, good Nelly, go into the kitchen, and bring 
m-i two or three biscuits. Don't let any one see them, but 
bring them to me.'^ 

" Lord bless the child ! what she want of biscuit this time 
o' night ? Miss Linda, you eat supper — you no hungry 
now.^^ 

" But I will be hungry by and by," continued Linda, more 
earnestly ; " I want them — please, Nelly/^ 

" Miss Lindy cry so much, make her feel mighty hollow — 
that it. Yes, she have biscuit." 

And Nelly brought some and laid them on Linda's bed. 
Linda thanked her as she had never done before for any thing 
to eat, and told her to lie down and go to sleep, for she would 
not trouble her any more. 

"What for Miss Lindy look at me so hard ?" said Nelly, 
as she composed herself on her pallet ; " what make her eye 
so big to-night ?" 

Linda had a great purpose in her heart, and her eyes did 
indeed dilate and darken while silently planning its execution. 
She lay gazing out into the still moonlight night, so beautiful, 
so glorious in its blue, upward depths j and her spirit grew 
stronger as she gazed. The loud breathing of Nelly alone 
broke the silence of the hour. She knew that her parents 
were retired to rest, and every thing around the house spoke 
the slumbering state of the inmates. Then Linda softly rose, 
slipped on her dress, carefully putting the biscuits in her 
pocket, and, taking her shoes in her hand, slid down the back 
stairs. The doors were never fastened at night, for the planter 
requires no gaiard but his powerful watch-dog, who roams un- 
chained at the midnight hour, the fierce guardian of his mas- 
ter's property and life. Every thing seemed to favour the 
little heroine, for she found the outside door partly open, and 
she glided through noiselessly as the moonbeams. 

Bruno, the noble mastiff, lay close by the threshold. Lift- 



42 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

ing his large, magnificent head, he was about to let out a vo- 
lume of sound, but a low whisper of ^' Hush, Bruno, hush V 
and a biscuit dropped suddenly between his huge paws, con- 
ciliated the Cerberus of the household, and the miniature 
Psyche passed on. 

^^It is only half a mile through the woods,^^ mui'mured 
she. " It is light as day — God won't let any thing hurt me, 
for I read in the Bible to-night that he takes care of the 
conies in the hollows." 

Now this was the great purpose Linda had conceived and 
had begun to execute. There was a planter of the name of 
Marshall, who lived a mile and a half from them by the car- 
riage road, and only half a mile measured by the by-path 
through the woods. He was their nearest neighbour, and had 
always been intimate with the family during the. life of the 
first Mrs. Walton and his after widowhood. He was a kind, 
benevolent, good man, who was beloved and respected by all 
who knew him. He had a little daughter about two years older 
than Linda, whom she was sometimes permitted to visit. Mr. 
Marshall had visited her father a few days before, to talk with 
him about a new teacher who was coming into the neighbour- 
hood, and she remembered hearing him say that his wife 
wanted a good house-servant, as the one on whom she chiefly 
relied was constantly sick. It was to beg Mr. Marshall to 
buy Judy before the cruel speculator arrived to consummate 
the bargain, that Linda had started on her lonely expedition. 
She knew if she could persuade him to offer a higher crice 
than the speculator, her mercenary step-mother wot:^ iccept 
the offer. Then Judy would have a kind maste^' -a happy 
home — and, when she grew big herself and hhd her own 
money, she would buy her back again, and they would live 
together all their lives. 

In the strength of her pure affec^tfion — her disinterested 
Jove — ^the child walked on alone into the deep pine woods. 



" OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 43 

Once she looked back^ and saw her mother's tombstone gleam- 
ing cold and white in the solemn splendour of the night. 

^^ K she is looking down from heaven/' thought Linda, 
" she will smile on me, for she loved Aunt Judy, too.'' 

Fast and faster pattered on the little feet through the deep- 
ening shadows, now and then emerging into a glorious burst 
of light — then again involved in gloom. She felt the solemn 
loneliness of nature. Her heart began to beat quick and 
quicker ; she started as the night wind sighed through the tall 
pines, or the plaintive lowing of cattle came in melancholy 
music to her ear. She thought of big, runaway negroes, who 
might be hidden in the woods, and who might rush out with 
long, sharp knives and kill her by the way-side. The old, 
broken stumps assumed the forms of wild beasts, crouching 
for their prey ; and the narrow, sandy path looked like a tall 
person in white advancing to meet her. Fearless as she was 
by nature, nameless terrors would steal upon her in the strange 
loneliness of her pilgrimage. She remembered the " Babes 
in the Wood," and thought if she had a little brother with 
her, she would be willing to lie down and die, and let Robin 
redbreast " cover them up carefully with leaves." But then 
Judy would be sold to the speculator. This spurred her 
weary feet, and she ran on without looking to the right or the 
left. The large, double log-cabin of Mr. Marshall appeared 
in sight. A new fear assailed her. How was she to gain 
admittance if they were all asleep ? Then the watch-dog — 
would a biscuit pacify him as it had done her Bruno ? Trem- 
bling and irresolute, she mounted the steps of a block placed 
in the front of the yard for the benefit of equestrians, and 
looked up at the windows all flooded by the silver moonlight. 
How like a spirit she looked, standing there in her light dress, 
with bare head and arms, looking upward so earnestly. 
Surely heaven favoured her generous design. The good mas- 
ter of the house had not yet retired, but was sitting at -one of 



44 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

those very windows enjoying tlie stillness of tlie glorious 
night. He beheld the little figure standing on the block, and 
knew not what to think. Had he been a superstitious man, 
he would certainly have taken it for an apparition. Deter- 
mined to ascertain the nature of the sudden and fairy-like 
appearance, he came forth, and stood for a moment under 
the trees without approaching. The dog sprang up, barking. 

" Down, Fido, down V said the master, in a gentle voice, 
and the dog again crouched at his feet. ^' Who's there V 
said he, in an encouraging tone. 

^^It's me V replied a little, trembling voice. 

"And who is me ?'^ cried Mr. Marshall, opening the gate 
with eager curiosity to ascertain what sprite it was perched 
on the steps. 

" It's Linda, little Linda Walton," was the answer, and the 
figure sprang from the block, and its arms were clinging 
caressingly round him. 

" Good heavens ! what brought the child here alone at this 
time of night ? What's the matter ? Your father — he's not 
sick ?" 

"No, no — it's nothing but Judy; I want you to buy poor 
Judy ; please buy her, and I'll pay you ten times over when 
I get big." 

And Linda, breathless and excited, told him the tale of 
Judy's wrongs, and her own fears and hopes. 

"And you walked through the woods all alone to-night, 
just to save a negro from being sold to a cruel master I" ex- 
claimed the benevolent planter, clasping the heroic child in 
his arms, and wiping away the tears that started from his 
eyes. " Yes, I'll buy her, if I have to pay double what she 
is worth ; I'll buy her, if I have to pay all my next cotton 
crop brings to purchase her ! She's just the servant I want; 
but you shall have her back again when you claim her, for all 
that." 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 45 

Linda was almost wild with joy at the success of her mis- 
sion. She cried and laughed, and jumped simultaneously, 
entreated Mr. Marshall to come very early in the morning, 
and never to tell anybody that she had asked him to do so. 
Mr. Marshall promised, though he longed to tell every one of 
her fearless devotion, and bid her remain quietly a few mo- 
ments, till he brought a horse, on which he would bear her 
home himself. 

How happy was Linda, riding back in triumph through the 
same path, which seemed begirt with terrors a few moments 
before ! How benignantly the moon smiled upon her ! How 
lovingly the gale kissed her cool cheek ! How kindly the 
arms of Mr. Marshall enfolded her ! How he cheered her 
with praises and words of tenderness ! "When arrived at the 
termination of the woods, he dismounted and led his young 
charge silently towards the house, kissed her again, and 
watched her as she approached the yet open door. A quick 
bark — another biscuit tossed — and all was still. 

Linda reached her chamber unseen and uninterrupted. 
Nelly was snoring more profoundly than ever. Every thing 
was just as she had left it. Linda crept into bed, chilled from 
her exposure to the night air, but her heart glowing with 
gratitude and joy. She could not sleep ; her soul was magni- 
fied within her ; she felt bigger, older, better ; she loved the 
world a great deal better, since there was such a good man in 
it as Mr. Marshall. She almost envied Aunt Judy her happy 
home. Full of sweet, happy thoughts, it was almost morning 
before she closed her eyelids, and then bright visions, sent by 
the guardian cherubim, hovered round her couch. -- 



16 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 



CHAPTER TV. 

Mr. Marshall redeemed his promise; and Mrs. Waltou, 
without any suspicion of Linda's agency, accepted the liberal 
offer of her neighbour. Judy, who had been anticipating the 
most dreaded fate of the slave, went on her way rejoicing, 
blessing her young mistress, though unconscious of the great 
debt she owed her, and wishing she was going, too. 

An event occurred at this time which had a great influence 
on Linda's happiness. A school was opened in the neigh- 
bourhood, in which Master Robert and herself were entered 
as pupils. Mrs. Walton would gladly have kept Linda at 
home, sewing on the " never-ending, still beginning" patch- 
work, but the current of public opinion set too strongly 
against such a thing. She could tyrannize at home, and the 
world would never interfere ; but this was out-door business, 
and mankind would sit in judgment upon her, if she sent her 
own son, and debarred her step-daughter from the same privi- 
lege. 

The teacher was a gentleman of the name of Longwood, a 
native of the granite hills of New England. Being threat- 
ened by a pulmonary affection, he had sought the more genial 
latitude of the South, and, being destitute of fortune, was 
obliged to pay his expenses by the exercise of his talents. He 
came highly recommended as an elegant classical scholar, a 
thorough mathematician, and an accomplished linguist. The 
planters in the vicinity, who united to pay his salary, as is 
customary at the South, were induced to offer him higher 
wages than his predecessors had received, on account of his 
superior recommendations. 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 47 

The nlglit previous to his installation in the duties of his 
office, Mr. Walton invited him to supper, as Mrs. "Walton 
wished to give him particular directions about the manage- 
ment of her son. Linda felt the deepest curiosity, chastened 
by still deeper awe, respecting her future instructor. She 
awaited his entrance as she would that of a superior being, 
believing that he who was to open to her the gate of know- 
ledge must be like one of those oriental genii of whom her 
mother used to tell her. 

The tall, spare figure of Mr. Longwood, his pale, high fore- 
head, prominent nose, and small, deep-set eyes, made a very 
different impression from the stern, majestic image her fancy 
had drawn. There was an appearance of physical debility 
about him, with which his slender voice harmonized well; 
but there was a restless, glaincing fire in his small, gray eyes, 
that spoke great mental energy and enthusiasm. No one 
could be in his company half an liour without feeling that he 
was a complete original — a strange mixture of learning and 
pedantry, shrewdness and simplicity, poetry, phrenology, and 
syntax. It was dubious whether he was in earnest or jest — 
whether he wished to excite mirth or produce gravity — whether 
the quick sparkle of his eye was the result of drollery or 
enthusiastic feeling. 

Robert stared upon him unrecedingly, trying to discover 
whether he was a man to be feared or not. 

" Your son has the organ of language very strongly deve- 
loped, madam,^^ said he, placing his hand on the boy's head; 
which was rudely shaken ofi"; ^^ great fulness about the eyes. 
Il fait les grands yeux, as they say in French — organ of vene- 
ration much depressed ; large self-esteem ; animal propensities 
predominant; he must avoid temptation; Virtus est vitium 
fugere — to shun vice is a virtue " 

The ofi'ending hand was again placed on the boy's head, in 
the enthusiasm of a phrenological examination. 



48 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

^^Let go of mj head !'^ cried out the subject; ^^you are 
sticking your thumbs in me. Let go, I say I" 

'' The organ of combativeness is also strikingly developed/' 
continued the gentleman, pursuing with his eye the regions 
which had eluded his touch. '' Pardon me, madam — I always 
study the heads of my pupils. ' The proper study of mankind 
is man.' By this means, I arrive at a true estimate of charac- 
ter, and know exactly what powers to bring into action. Your 
son is a study, madam — a great study. I shall devote myself 
to the task of developing his intellectual and spiritual organs. 
Adjuta me, quo id fiat facilius — aid me, that that may be 
done more easily." 

Mrs. Walton was somewhat propitiated by his remark, that 
her son was a great study. Bewildered by such a display of 
erudition, she for the first time felt ashamed of Robert's neg- 
lected intellect. Of limited education and low attainments 
herself, she was somewhat dazzled by the brilliant mosaic of 
his conversation. 

" I know nothing of phrenology, sir,'' said she ; " but T 
dare say you will find Robert as smart, naturally, as any boy 
of his age. He is very backward, and I am afraid will give 
you some trouble. I have petted and indulged him a great 
deal, as he is my only one. I want you not to be too strict 
with him at first, as he has never been used to restraint, and 
I am confident he could not bear it." 

"j&es talents produisent suivant la culture — talents yield 
according to their cultivation — as IMarmontel justly observes, 
madam. ^ Just as the twig is bent the tree's inclined,' as 
Pope very sensibly remarks. My m@de of discipline, madam, 
is congruentem naturae — agreeably to nature — I endeavour to 
govern by her immutable laws — but it is a very mysterious 
process. Qualis sit animus, i-pse animus nescit — the mind 
itself knows not what the mind is — as Cicero very pertinently 
remarks. ^ What a creature is man ! — a worm — a god ! — 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 49 

midway from nothing to the Deity/ as Young feelingly ob- 
serves/^ 

^^I am pleased that you agree with me in opinion, sir/' 
said Mrs. Walton, catching a faint gleam of his meaning 
through his thick-coming quotations. '' You do not use cor- 
poral punishment, I presume. '^ 

" Not until reason is impotent, madam. La conscience nous 
avertit en ami, avant de nous puni en juge — conscience warns 
us as a friend before punishing as a judge. I endeaYOur to 
imitate the great vicegerent of Jehovah. I enlarge venera- 
tion, diminish self-esteem, depress the animal propensities, 
and develope the moral sentiments — a great work, madam — 
Hand eqiddem tali me dignor lionore — I am not worthy of 
such an honour — as Yirgil modestly remarks/' 

'^ Why don't you talk English, like other folks V^ interro- 
gated Robert. ^^ What makes you mix up all sorts of words 
together in that way ? You an't going to learn me that 
fashion, I tell you.'' 

The mother smiled at her boy's wit ; but the incorrigible 
schoolmaster gravely answered : 

^^MithridateSj duorum et viginti gentium rex, totidem Unguis 
jura dixit — Mithridates, king of twenty-two nations, pro 
nounced judicial decisions in as many languages." 

During this conversation, Linda had remained immovable 
with wonder. She would have felt crushed by such a torrent 
of learning, had not the kind sparkle of his eye reassured her. 
Mr. Walton, not willing that she should remain entirely in 
the back-ground, took hold of her hand and drew her towards 
Mr. Longwood. 

^^ Here is another little pupil of yours — what do you think 
of her phrenological development." 

The face of the tall pedant lighted up with a kind of ec- 
stasy as he passed his slender fingers through the child's short 
brown curls — " Splendid !" he exclaimed ; ^^ quite an equi- 



60 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

librium — perfect adaptation of all the organs to eacli other — 
benevolence, reverencCj ideality, conscientiousness — Oh! for- 
mosa piiella — what pleasure shall I enjoy in instructing thee ? 
T will make thee a ray of the sun of science — a flower of the 
garden of literature. ^^ Early, bright, chaste as morning 
dew,' as Young feelingly remarks. Madam, your daughter is 
a beautiful study.'' 

^^ She is my step-daughter," replied the lady, in a freezing 
tone. ^^ You will have to use very strict measures with her, 
a very self-willed, passionate child." 

'^ I have always found gentle measures most successful 
with her," Mr. Walton ventured to assert. ^^ She has a re- 
markably affectionate disposition, and does not like to offend 
those she loves." 

" Supper is ready, Mr. Walton," cried the step-mother, 
with a lifting of her white eye-brows, that her husband under- 
stood but too well ; '^ it has been announced some time." 

Kobert, as usual, took the lead to the dining-room, and had 
already provided himself with a large piece of cake before the 
guest and family were seated. 

" Your son has the organ of alimentiveness most wonder- 
fully developed, madam," said Mr. Longwood, gazing in ap- 
parent admiration on the young glutton. ^^Grreat care must 
be taken lest its power become weakened by too vehement 
use. Nulla res est, quse ^erferre possit continuam Idborem — ■ 
there is nothing which can endure perpetual labour — as Quin- 
tilian excellently observes." 

Mr. Walton, who, in spite of the imbecility of mind he 
displayed in yielding to the dominion of a despotic wife, was 
a man of some intellect and shrewdness, was exceedingly 
amused with his new acquaintance. He saw that he had a 
just appreciation of character, and that Master Robert would 
be in excellent hands. He was convinced, too, that there was 
more method than he had at first imagined, in his literary mad- 



OP THE BELLE CREOLE. ^w 51 

nesS; and that his were not random shafts. There was some- 
thing fascinating in the sparkle of his gray eye, flashing from 
object to object with the rapidity of lightning. It seemed a 
burning spark kindled from the spirit fii-es. He expatiated 
on the bounties of the hospitable board, of which, however, 
he sparingly partook. 

"This buttermilk," said the enthusiast, "is ^ white as the 
foam upon the wave,^ as Ossian beautifully observes. The 
scene reminds me of a land ' flowing with milk and honey.' 
Je puis plus de cas de V aheille^ qui tirent le miel des Jleurs, que 
la femme qui en fait les bouquets — I value more the bee who 
draws the honey from the flowers than the woman who makes 
bouquets of them — an excellent French proverb. You seem 
a happy man, sir. Domiis plena servis — a house full of ser- 
vants. Dices agres — rich in land. Dulcissima uxor — the 
gentlest of wives. And children ' like corner-stones, polished 
after the similitude of a palace,' as David piously remarks." 

The negroes gi'inned at each other behind the chairs, at 
the odd manners of the eccentric gentleman. They did not 
understand his language, but they thought him "mighty 
funny," and wondered how the white folks could keep from 
laughing. 

It may be supposed that a man of such a peculiar tempera- 
ment would be incapable of performing with dignity the du- 
ties which were required of him. But never was there a more 
efficient, faithful, devoted teacher than Aristides Longwood. 
With a patience that never wearied, an energy that never 
flagged, and an enthusiasm that never grew cold, he set him- 
self to his daily tasks. With characteristic prodigality, he 
had inscribed on the walls of the school-room innumerable 
Latin mottoes, accompanied with translations. "With a kind 
of wand, which he carried in his right hand, he would direct 
thv) attention of the pupil to each golden aphorism, made 
more impressive by the two-fold garb in which they were 



52 LINDA} OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

clothed. The man who could breathe a spark of Promethean 
fire into the animalized nature of Eobert Graham, must have 
possessed a magician's power. That man was Aristides Long- 
wood. At first the boy resisted his laws, refused to study, 
and attempted to convert the school-room into a scene of an- 
archy and misrule. After trying in vain every gentle, per- 
suasive, and rational appeal to his conscience, his heart, mind, 
and soul, he made use of the argumentum ad hominem, which 
was never applied save as a last resort. Robert struggled 
manfully ; but it was astonishing what muscular power there 
was in those long, slender fingers, when the will was put forth. 
He never took his magnetic eyes from Robert's face during 
the operation. 

^^ ^ Spare the rod and spoil the child,^ as Solomon sapiently 
remarks," repeated Aristides, when the first stroke descended ; 
'^ Quod adest memento comjDonere acquis — remember to make 
a proper use of the present moment— as Horace pithily ob- 
serves,'^ continued he, while the second and third blow was 
administered; "Surget humo juvenis — the youth rises from 
the ground — as Ovid most appositely remarks." 

Here Robert described involuntarily the segment of a circle, 
and cried out vociferously for mercy. 

^^ 'Mercy is twice blessed — it blesseth him that gives and 
him that receives,' as Shakspeare nobly expresses it," ex- 
claimed the teacher, gently seating his conquered foe. Then 
turning to Linda, who wept bitterly over Robert's disgrace 
and sufferings, notwithstanding the petty wrongs she had en- 
dured from him, ^'Hinc illuc laclirymoe — whence these tears ? 
Oil 1 puella purisshna — the tree never yields forth its fragrance 
till the bark is penetrated, — the shell must be broken before 
the nut is exhumed." 

Mr. Longwood was kinder and gentlei to Robert the re- 
mainder of the evening than he had been previous to the 
flagellation, assisting him in his lessons and encouraging him 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 53 

witli hopes of success. "What was passing in the boy's mind 
could not be told, but he was evidently reaching a great crisis. 

When Mrs. Walton learned the astonishing fact that Mr. 
Longwood had dared to whip her son, in spite of her prohibi- 
tion, she was pale with passion. She declared he never should 
set his foot in the school-room again ; that he should know 
whom he had to deal with, and not insult her and her son 
with impunity. 

"1 will go again,'' cried Robert, fixing his black eyes 
steadily upon hers. ^^If you had punished me before, I 
wouldn't be the big fool I am. But I'm tired of being a fool ; 
I'm tired of doing nothing but eat and play. There's Sam 
Marshall, not a bit older than I am, and he knows a heap 
more than T. I like Mr. Longwood, and I'm not going to 
stay home Itecause he whipped me." 

■ Mrs. "Walton was astounded. The fire she had been so long 
smothering in her son's breast was beginning to blaze, and 
she could not quench the kindling flame. Ambition was 
mounting from the ashes of humiliation. From this hour, 
Mr. Longwood maintained the empire he had acquired. He 
never again had occasion to exercise in his behalf the magic 
wand. The people wondered, and said that a miracle had 
been wrought. 

If such was the influence he had gained over Robert, what 
might not be expected from Linda, with her bright intelli- 
gence, generous impulses, and yearning desires for instruction ? 
Oh ! what a spring was given to that elastic spirit, held down 
so long by such a leaden weight ! She felt as if she were 
livinsr in a new world — such streams of liajht were flowino- 
into her mind. Well might her teacher say that she was a 
" beautiful study," for she drank in instruction as sweetly as 
the flowers drink in the dews of evening ; and gently as the 
dews come down did he temper his knowledge, so as to meet 
the capacities of her young understanding. 



54 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

As it was a long walk from her father's house, Linda carried 
her dinner in a little basket, and sitting under the shade of 
the trees, with a book in one hand, she accomplished her 
noon-day repast. Mr. Longwood often remained, too, for the 
pleasure of being with his favourite, when he could lay aside 
the character of the master, in the friend. It was an amus- 
ing contrast, to see the tall, slender figure, and pale, peculiar 
face of the teacher, by the side of the little, blooming girl, 
both seated under the same tree, in a state of perfect equality 
and freedom. When conversing with her, he endeavoured to 
check his overwhelming tide of quotations, but the habit had 
become such a necessity of his being, it was with difficulty re- 
strained. 

" You must never forget, my little friend,^' he would say, 
his deep-set eyes changing their restless expression to one of 
tender earnestness, '^ that what you are to be hereafter, you 
must begin to be now. The smallest seed committed to the 
ground contains the elements of the future tree or plant. If 
you want to be an angel in heaven, you must begin to plume 
your wings now, for it takes a long while to soar so high. 
Begin now, and be not afraid of falling. JSfec gemere aeria 
cessahit turtur ah ulmo — nor shall the turtle dove cease to coo 
from the lofty elm — as Yirgil sweetly remarks. By and by 
you will grow stronger, and your soul will bear you up higher. 
' You will mount with wings as eagles,^ as the Psalmist glori- 
ously remarks.'^ 

Once, when a storm was rising, and seeing that she sat 
without fear, watching its approach, he led her mind to the 
sublimity of nature, teaching her to admire the grandeur, as 
well as the beauty of creation, 

'' How grand is the forest,'^ said he, " when the storm is 
rolling over it. Lsevius ventis agifatur mgens pinus — the 
great pine is more violently shaken by the winds — as Horace 
sharmingly remarks. I love to see the forest trees, in their 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 55 

green brotherhood, mingling their branches together. But I 
am not one of them : ' I was a lovely tree in thy presence, 
but the blast of the mountain came and laid my green head 
low/ as Ossian feelingly observes. Oh ! puella carissima — 
the strength of my youth is departed.^^ 

To the opening mind of Linda the words of her teacher 
were fertilizing " as streams of living waters fresh from the 
fountain of intellio;ence.'' 



CHAPTER Y. 

Thus time glided onward. Notwithstanding Mrs. "Walton's 
bitter prejudices against the learned fool, the crazy foolj as 
she invariably called him, his star remained in the ascendant. 
She never forgave him the superior influence he had acquired 
over the mind of her son; though, through that influence, 
the boy was every day becoming more intelligent, ambitious, 
and refined. His intellect possessed a vitality which triumphed 
over the deadening process of self-indulgence, to which he 
had been subjected. But his heart ! — that unweeded garden, 
BO long left to rank and poisonous luxuriance, — was the wilder- 
ness becoming cultivated, and beginning to blossom with the 
rose ? The answer may be read in after-scenes. 

A great grief was preparing for Linda. The slender frame 

of Aristides Longwood gradually assumed an appearance of 

greater debility. His shoulders drooped more heavily ; his 

eyes, though, if possible, brighter than ever, sunk deeper in 

their large sockets ] and a bright, warning spot burned every 

evening on his pale and sallow cheek ; a hollow cough often 

interrupted his eloquent instructions. It was but too evident 

that ^^ the fine gold of the temple was becoming dim. Ho 
4 



56 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

was advised to relinquisli his situation, and seek the more 
genial climate of Cuba. It was a sad trial to him, for strong 
and tender was the tie that bound his lonely heart to the 
lovely and affectionate child. 

The last day he was with his pupils, after taking leave of 
them all, in a kind and solemn manner, he turned to Linda, 
who lingered behind, lost in sorrow that refused consolation. 

" Num id lachrymal virgo ? — Does the maid weep on that 
account? as Terence pathetically remarks,'' said the melted 
aphorist, his voice trembling with emotion. ^^I grieve to 
leave thee, ^9«e?^a puIcJirissima, for thou hast entwined 
thyself around my heart like a vernal garland; and I shall 
carry away with me the remembrance of its sweetness. Codumy 
non animuTTij mutant, qui trans maix corrunt — they change 
their sky, but not their soul, who cross the sea, as Horace 
feelingly observes. Not even the sky, but only the moun- 
tains and the plains — the same heavens will bend above us — • 
the same glorious sun and moon will shine upon us, and the 
same invisible atmosphere flow around. Forget not my in- 
structions, virgo juvenissima. Remember Nihil est virtute 
formosius — nothing is more beautiful than virtue, as Cicero 
pointedly remarks. Let the beautiful developments of thy 
character continue to unfold. Let ideality, reverence, and 
benevolence be still the crowning graces of thy youth. As 
for me, I am passing away like a shadow, and shall return no 
more : the traveller to the sea-girt isle will pause at my lonely 
grave, and exclaim, in the mournful language of Ossian, 
' Narrow is thy dwelling now — dark the place of thy abode ! 
Four stones, with their heads of moss, are the only memorials 
of thee.' " 

Linda never forgot the accents of that solemn, touching 
voice, as it uttered farewell ! — the tender benediction breathed 
upon her, the trembling hand laid with prophetic earnestness 
c::^. her bending head. She treasured them as holy memories; 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 57 

wliicli time never could efface. Wave after wave miglit flow 
over them, but, like letters cut deep in the marble, tbey could 
not be washed away. Even if the moss gathered about them, 
how soon the hand of aff"ection would remove the green fret- 
work, and the characters appear in all their original distinct- 



ness 



The aspirations of young Robert were no longer to be kept 
down. He must go to college. Charlotteville was selected as 
the institution most favourable for the development of the 
young Alabamian's independent character. Mrs. Walton was 
obliged to yield to Robert's imperious decision, though she 
thought there was no necessity to send him so far in search 
of advantages he could so well dispense with. He was rich — 
he was smart enough already, and would have influence enough 
in society. She felt the separation severely, for this woman, 
so cold, so hard to others, so destitute of loving-kindness and 
tender charity, had one soft place in her heart ,• there was one 
spot where the ice was thawed — one point where the iron was 
fused : she loved her son. He was a part of herself, and her 
love partook of the despotism and selfishness of her character. 

When Mr. Walton expressed his desire to send Linda to a 
boarding-school, he expected great opposition on her part, and 
approached the subject with fear and trembling. Contrary to 
his expectations, she raised but few objections. Intent upon 
a scheme which she was determined to put in execution in 
due time, she thought, if Robert was determined to be a tho- 
roughly educated man, it was well that Linda should be placed 
on an equal footing with him. She was resolved to unite them 
in marriage as soon as they should return from their respec- 
tive schools, and thus keep the large fortune of Linda from 
passing into a stranger's hand. It was necessary to impart 
her plans to Robert before his departure. 

He had been three years under the tuition of Aristides 
Longwood, and was consequently seventeen years of age. He 



55 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

was old enougli to understand liis own interests^ and to endea- 
vour to preserve them during his four years' absence. But 
she knew enough of his disposition not to hazard a command- 
ing tone. She appealed to his selfishness, and asked him if 
he did not think it would be a splendid project to secure the 
possession of the magnificent Louisiana plantation by the 
hand of his young step-sister, who promised moreover to be a 
beautiful and accomplished woman. By thus judiciously con- 
sulting his judgment, instead of enforcing his obedience, Mrs. 
Walton easily gained her son's concurrence. His mother's les- 
sons had not been lost upon him, and Linda was an uncommonly 
pretty girl, now entering her twelfth year. Mrs. Walton hesi- 
tated upon the expediency of telling Linda her future destiny ; 
but she decided at length that she was too young, and that 
there was no danger of her forming any other engagements 
before she should return to her home again. Robert, there- 
fore, was to be perfectly silent on the subject, endeavouring 
only to leave a pleasing impression on the heart of his young 
bride elect. Robert was vain of his person, for he was grow- 
ing up a tall, handsome youth, with large, commanding black 
eyes, though they had the same wicked look from which Linda 
shrunk the first day she beheld him. After the conversation 
with his mother, those large, wicked, black eyes seemed con- 
stantly fixed on Linda. He had appropriated her to himself, 
and she all at once acquired consequence and interest in his 
estimation. - • • 

"What makes you stare at me ^b, Robert ?" said Linda, 
embarrassed by his unreceding scrutiny. 

"I was thinking, Linda, what a pretty girl you would be 
four years from this time, when I come back from college, 
wearing the first honours, which I am determined to gain. 
Labor vincit omnia, as Aristides would sapiently quote." 

"I am glad to hear you mention Mr. Longwood/' replied 
Linda, softening at the remembrance of her beloved instructor, 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 59 

and perBaps not displeased that Robert thought her pretty. 
" If you follow his advice^ you will make a good man as well 
as a great scholar. Oh^ how many things may happen, Ro- 
bert, before we meet again ! It is a long, long time to look 
forward — four years V 

Robert laughed at the solemn emphasis she put upon the 
word long, and said they would pass soon enough. How short 
a time it seemed to look back since they first went to Aristides' 
school, and yet three years had gone by ! He proposed to 
visit the school-room and its shading groye, and Linda gladly 
consented. She looked round the walls, illumined by the 
well-known golden aphorisms; she wandered through the 
paths where his hand so oft had led her ; she sat down under 
the trees that had often bent over them both, and almost ima- 
gined she heard his earnest voice in the passing breeze ; she 
thought of him, the lone dweller of the sea-girt isle, perhaps 
of a lonelier, darker home, and she wept. She felt grateful 
to Robert for not mocking her sensibility; then her gratitude 
flowed back to the source of Robert's regeneration, and again 
she blessed the memory of her eccentric but holy-minded 
teacher. 

Robert and Linda parted, and much indeed occurred ere 
they met again. 



60 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 



CHAPTER VI. 

Linda a traveller ! — It was an era in her young existence — 
never having gone beyond the limits of her own neighbour- 
hood. Her father was the companion of her journey, and no 
longer frozen, benumbed by the presence of his wife, the 
fountain of his heart began to play once more, and throw 
out the bright waters to the sun. Linda had forgotten how 
pleasant, how even gay her father could be; she had been so 
long accustomed to see him in a state of mental and moral 
paralysis. Ah, Mr. Walton ! — these are silver days in the 
dark cycle of your present existence. Your young daughter 
is at your side, and you are not afraid to show how much you 
love her. You will read no reproof in- that blue, smiling sky, 
those green, rolling woods. Nature js-: a kind mother, and 
fills with sweet thoughts and pure affections the . heart that 
yields to her maternal influence. ''' ■-■■^\!}.:: 

Linda wondered she could ever have felt unhappy in a 
world so beautiful, with a father so kind, a spirit so elastic, 
and a future so bright with hope. Even the image of her 
formidable step-mother was so softened by. distance as to be 
deprived of half its terrors. The fearful scourge — the weary- 
ing patch-work — the dark, raftered room — the lonely moon- 
light pilgrimage — seemed like dreams to her now, as they 
came back to her recollection. Sometimes she would gaze 
abroad with rapture, when some peculiarly beautiful feature in 
the landscape arrested her attention — some clustering grove 
of willow oaks, in the centre of a low, grassy plain — their 
rich, pendant foliage, reflected in a glassy pool beneath ; or, 
more frequently, the long, stately, symmetrical colonnades of 
pine, with their deep-green " contiguity of shade," and bright, 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 61 

luxuriant undergrowth. Then, wearied with the intensity of 
her gaze, she would lean back in the carriage, and, closing 
her eyes, build those aerial fabrics, those cities of the future, 
in which imagination loves to revel. Her school-days ! — 
what rich fruitage would she garner up, during the next four 
years, with which to enrich all coming time. How faithfully 
would she remember the instructions of the beloved Aristides, 
and plume, as he had directed, her young wings for heaven ! 
Then, when she came forth into the world, and was allowed 
to take possession of her inherited wealth, what a kind, vigi- 
lant mistress would she be to the poor slaves committed to her 
care ! How tenderly would she sweeten the bitter cup of ser- 
vitude ! how carefully minister to the wants of the body and 
the soul ! Her faithful Judy, too, would be with her again, 
who should have a nice white cabin of her own, furnished 
with every comfort, where her days should flow on in tran- 
quillity and happiness. 

Near the close of their second day's journey, Mr. Walton, 
fearing they might not reach their stopping-place before night, 
told the driver to urge the horses faster, as there was no moon, 
and he had been told there was a dangerous precipice on the 
road they were to pass. Tom was a skilful, experienced 
driver, and had carried his master and former mistress safely 
over many a rough and difficult pass ; but he had one failing, 
of which his master was not aware — he loved an exhilarating 
glass, and, when travelling, the temptation beset him with 
double strength. At the last cabin, where he bad paused to 
water the horses, he had unfortunately found too hospitable 
accommodations for himself, and had mounted the box in 
high spirits, which needed not the spur of his master's excit- 
ing words. 

"An't the horses going very fast ?" cried Linda, looking 
out on the precipitous sides of the road, which now weut 
winding round on the brow of a steep hill. 



62 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

"Oh; Tom knows what he's about," answered Mr. Walton, 
with that habitual easiness of mind which did not like the 
trouble of anticipating danger. " He's managed these horses 
from a boy, and they are as gentle as lambs.'' 

But; as the road grew steeper and narrower, and the horses 
proceeded with a constantly accelerating motion, Mr, Walton 
was roused to a sense of danger, and; putting his head from 
the windoW; commanded Tom to drive more slowly, lie did 
not know the potent draught in which Tom had indulged, 
which deprived him of the power to guide and restrain the 
animals; who were only obeying the irresistible power of gra- 
vitation in pursuing so furiously their downward course. 

"Father; let us jump out," exclaimed the terrified Linda; 
" we shall be dashed to pieces ! Look at that frightful cliff 
oh ! father — see where we are going." 

Mr. Walton gave one glance at the frightful cliiF which 
they were approaching with such fearful velocity, and felt in- 
deed that they were lost. With a cry of agony, he clasped 
his young daughter closely in his arms, and, closing his eyes, 
tried to shut out the vision — the horrible vision of her man- 
gled limbs — her crushed and bleeding body ! At this moment 
a youth was seen darting with almost lightning speed across 
the fields. He leaped the zigzag railing, sprang over the 
rocky chasm by the way-side, into the road; right in front of 
the foaming, galloping, teiTific-looking animals. Linda; who, 
unlike her father, had been gazing with wild intensity abroad, 
taking in the whole terror of the see- e, beheld this figure 
flying with a speed that almost mocked her sight. She felt a 
sudden jerk of the carriage, which threw them on the oppo- 
site seat; but she could no longer see the brave, young stran- 
ger who was periling his life for their safety. She did not 
see him dragged along over the rocks and sands, still holding 
the fiery steed he had caught by the bridle rein, with his 
young; powerful arm; till the beast himself was overthrown; 



OP THE BELLE CREOLE, 63 

and they rolled together in the dust. The other horse, feel- 
ing itself thus suddenly checked, burst the shackles that bound 
it to its fellow, and plunged headlong down the precipice, on 
the very brink of which they were arrested. The carriage was 
upset as the horse leaped from the harness ; but Linda and 
her father were saved unhurt. Linda was the first to spring 
up and think of their deliverer. She alone had seen him, 
ftnd knew the cause of their preservation. The animal lay 
with frothing mouth and panting limbs, exhausted by its late 
fury. Prostrate by its side, with his right arm under the 
horse's head, and covered with its flowing mane, appeared a 
figure, so youthful it seemed incredible that its strength had 
been their salvation. 

" Good heavens V cried Mr. Walton, " has that boy saved 

us r 

^^ Yes, father,^' said Linda, wringing her hands and weep- 
ing bitterly, " he's saved us, but he is killed himself V 

Mr. Walton knelt down over the youth, and laid his hand 
on his shoulder. 

" I am not killed,'^ said the youth, faintly ; " but my arm 
— ^if I could only release it from under the horse's head.'' 

It seemed a formidable task to approach the animal that 
had lately exhibited such tremendous power ; but the moment 
Mr. Walton touched it, and endeavoured to move its head 
from the arm of the youth, it recognised its master's presence, 
and rolled it gently aside. The youth endeavoured to move 
his arm, but in vain. An expression of acute pain crossed 
his features. 

" It is broken," said he, and his lips turned of ashy pale- 
ness ; " but if you will help me, sir, I can rise." 

Mr. Walton put one arm around the youth's shoulders, and 
was endeavouring to lift him, when he sprang wp with sur- 
prising agility, though his cheek grew pale, and the nervous 
contraction of his brow indicated great suffering. 



64 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

" What shall we do ? What can be done to relieve you ?'' 
exclaimed Mr. Walton, looking despairingly on his broken 
carriage, the remains of the noble animal quivering at the foot 
of the precipice, and then around on the woods and fields, 
where he could discern no trace of a habitation, though the 
shadows of twilight were beginning to fall. 

Linda, on beholding the fainting countenance of their deli- 
verer, remembered the basket of cakes and cordials which had 
been put in the carriage for their own refreshment. She 
searched, and found one bottle unbroken, and filling with its 
contents a silver cup, ran forward and gave it to her father. 

" Here, father,'' said she, earnestly, ^^ this will do him 
good." 

The youth was unconscious till this moment of the sweet 
young life he had preserved. He smiled on the little maiden 
as he drank the cordial, and the colour came back to his lips. 

^^ My mother lives within half a mile of this spot," said he. 
" I can show you the way, sir, if this little Miss can walk so 
far." 

^^ But what shall I do with this poor creature ?" cried Mr. 
Walton, looking sorrowfully on the exhausted horse. " I do 
not like to leave him." 

^^I will send a negro back to bring him," replied the 
youth ; ^' I do not think he is injured." 

" Hallo, Massa ! — Bless a Grod you alive, and little Missus, 
too !" exclaimed a well-known voice, and Tom came panting 
along, his clothes covered with dust and sand, his hat-crown 
smashed in, and a look of dolorous sheepishness and remorse 
furtively glancing from his white-rimmed, rolling eyes. In 
the excitement of the scene, they had forgotten Tom, who 
had been thrown off, far back ; and, owing no doubt to the re- 
laxed state of his system, the non-resisting muscles, which 
intoxication causes, had escaped with no other injury than a 
few bruises. Unconscious that he was the agent of their 



or THE BELLE CREOLE. 65 

threatened destruction^ they greeted him with a joyful wel- 
come, and as a great help in their time of need. "Awful 
times, Massa — awful times 1'^ said Tom, casting a glance of 
rueful penitence on the noble victim now stretched in the 
immobility of death. u 

" Help the living, Tom ; there is no use in mourning for 
the dead,'' said his master, pointing to the animal near them. 

In a moment the horse was on its feet, shaking the dust 
from its silky sides, and tossing its disordered mane. Mr. 
Walton proposed that the young man should be lifted on the 
horse, and be led by Tom to his own home, whither they 
would follow. But this he opposed so earnestly, insisting 
that Linda should ride, as he was perfectly able to walk, that 
Mr. Walton was obliged to yield. Linda refused, also, hav- 
ing received too terrible a fright to trust herself on the back 
of such a lion-like beast ; so they walked on together, leaving 
Tom to guard the trunks till some vehicle should be sent to 
remove them. 

Poor Linda, weakened from her fright, and weary from her 
long ride, could scarcely drag one foot after the other; but 
she would not complain. She thought of the heroic sufferer, 
walking by her side, with his broken arm — broken for them, 
and she longed to share his pain, if she could not relieve it. 
Sometimes he would turn frightfully pale, and lean his head 
against her father's shoulder with a quick shudder; then, de- 
claring himself better, walk on with renewed speed. He 
could not be older than Robert, and he was scarcely as tall. 
Linda noticed that his dress was not as fine as Robert's, for it 
was evidently of domestic manufacture ; but there was suffi- 
cient gentility in his bearing to give her the impression that 
he was a gentleman's son. She hoped he was poor ; then she 
would beg her father to let her give him half her fortune for 
saving their lives. " And that," thought the grateful, gene- 
rous, little heiress, "would not half pay him." 



66 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

How long a lialf mile seems when one is travelling a new 
path., with weary step, in the midst of fast-deepening shadows 
and deeper anxieties ! 

^' There is my mother's house,'' said the youth, in a faint 
voice, pointing with his left hand to a neat log-cabin, whose 
windows, illuminated by the blaze of pine-knots — those glo- 
rious flambeaus of the South — shone hospitably on the de- 
jected strangers. A female figure, with one arm raised above 
its head, shading the face, and looking earnestly down the 
path, stood in the door-way. 

" Roland, is that you ?" inquired a mild, anxious voice. 

^' Yes, mother ; but make haste and come to me — Fm very 
faint," and the suffering boy, having fulfilled the task for 
which he had girded his failing strength, staggered and fell. 
After he had raised and assisted in bearing him into the 
house, laying him on the neat, white bed which stood in the 
room which they entered, Mr. "Walton explained to the 
alarmed and distressed mother, the danger they had incurred, 
and the heroic and almost miraculous manner in which her 
son had rescued them from destruction. 

In spite of her distress and pre-occupation of mind, Mrs. 
Lee, (such was the name of Roland's mother,) could not help 
looking admiringly on the little maiden, who exhibited such 
animated sympathy, and such earnest desires to assist in Ro- 
land's recovery. 

While the mother was seeking more active restoratives, and 
her father was unloosening his collar and vest, Linda wet her 
handkerchief with waiter and bathed his forehead, till the 
drops trickled through his thick chesnut hair, on the snow- 
white pillow. The fear that he was going to die, and die for 
them, filled her with intolerable anguish. The pale, meek, 
anxious face of his mother would haunt her for ever. She 
looked as if she had seen sorrow already, and she knew it 
would kill her to lose her son. When Roland began to re- 



or THE BELLE CREOLE. 67 

vivej and sa-w those large, pitying, tearful, brown eyes gazing 
so wistfully on his face, and felt that soft, delicate, little hand 
bathing his head, it was no wonder he felt bewildered and 
knew not where he was. Starting, he tried to raise himself 
on his elbow, but gToaning with pain, fell back There was 
no physician within the distance of six miles; and Roland 
suffered many hours with his swollen and inflamed arm, 
though after the first involuntary groan no expression of suf- 
fering escaped his lips. It was not till a late hour that Tom 
arrived with the trunks, and Linda, too much excited to sleep, 
was persuaded to retire to bed. 

The travellers were detained several days at the cottage of 
Mrs. Lee, till the carriage was repaired, another horse pur- 
chased, and the inflammation of Roland's arm reduced, so that 
no danger could be apprehended from his case. Linda could 
not bear to see his arm bound up in torturing-looking splin- 
ters, but he told her they did not hurt him, and that he should 
soon shake them off again. As for staying in bed, gentle and 
obedient to his mother in every thing else, she could not per- 
suade him to do that. He even went abroad with Linda, 
to show her where some of the prettiest wild flowers were 
blooming, and the young mocking-birds were making their 
nests. 

" This shall be yours,^^ said he, selecting one hidden in a 
sweet, little, vine-wreathed hollow, ^^ and when the little birds 
are fledged I'll make a cage for them, and take care of them, 
and call them after your name.'' 

" You are very good to think enough about me for that,'' 
said Linda ; " but I wish you would tell me of something I 
could do for you, who have done so much for us. If I were 
going home I would have a tree planted and call it after your 
name, — but that would be nothing after all." 

She longed to tell him what a fortune she had, and how 
gladly she would give him half, but a native feeling of deli- 



68 tINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

cacy, a fear that it would sound like boasting, a dread of 
wounding his pride, restrained her. 

^' I am sure I've done nothing worth praising/' cried Ro- 
land, colouring with pleasure, mingled with embarrassment, 
at the earnest expressions of gratitude she again and again 
repeated. '^I could not help what I did, and there is no 
merit in it.'' 

^' Could not help it, Roland ?" 

'^ No ! I was walking through the field and caught a glimpse 
of the horses rushing along towards the precipice, and I knew 
there must be some one in the carriage who would be dashed 
to pieces over the rocks. I could no more help running and 
leaping the fence and ditch, than I could help breathing in 
the living air. I felt as strong as a lion, and had there been 
twenty horses instead of one, I believe I could have stopped 
them all. I didn't know whom I saved, so I'm sure I de- 
serve no thanks." 

" Yes, but you do though," answered the grateful child, 
"and-I'll thank you and bless you as long as I live. I wish 
you were my brother instead of Robert, and that you Were 
going to college, and that we were going to meet at heme, 
four years from this time." 

" I wish so too," said Roland. " But who is Robert ?" 

Then Linda sat down by him on the grass, and told him 
all about her home and childhood, except her own wrongs. 
She dwelt rapturously on her school-days, and described Aris- 
tides Longwood so perfectly and minutely .that. Roland said 
he should know him if he met in China. Iia, Return for her 
confidence, Roland told her his family histOj^y;'' 

His father was dead and all his brothers lind sisters. He 
was " the only son of his mother, and she a widow." His 
father was a planter of considerable property, but he had lost 
it almost all by a security debt. His misfortunes preyed upon 
his spirits, so that he wasted away and died, and his mother, 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 69 

collecting the few negroes that remained to her, retired to the 
log-cabin among the hills, where they now lived. He had 
been to school a good deal, but he was now staying at home 
with his mother, and assisting her on the farm. 

^^ I have always longed to go to sea," said the boy, kindling 
with enthusiasm as he proceeded ; " I never could read of the 
ocean and the great vessels sailing on its bosom, but my blood 
thrilled in my veins. Oh ! it must be a glorious thing to be 
away out on the ocean, out of sight of land, nothing but sky 
and water all round you ; heaving upon the billows, heaving 
again and rocking like a cradle ; and the tall mast bending, 
then righting in the storm.'^ 

" Would you like to have a ship of your own ?" cried Linda, 
her eyes sparkling with excitement. " I will get father to 
buy you one 1" 

" Thank you," said Roland, laughing ; '' it would be a great 
present, but I would not leave my mother to go so far from 
her; and she has a great horror of the sea. But I will tell 
you what I do mean to do : — you know what large rivers we 
have, almost as grand as the sea; well, one of these days, 
when you are a young lady, and going about in search of plea- 
sure, you may sail in Captain Lee's boat on the Alabama or 
Mississippi, for a captain I mean to be before I die, and then 
my mother can be with me." 

" But you cannot be a captain all at once, can you ?" asked 
Linda, sympathizing in his enthusiasm about the sea and the 
great rivers; for she too loved the blue waters, and they 
seemed a part of her own soul. 

" No — I must take my degrees first. I'll serve as a cabin- 
boy, clerk, pilot, till I get the command of a boat. I have a 
birch canoe in that creek yonder, which you see shining through 
the trees, and if I could only use my right arm I would row 
you merrily in it, and you should see what a sailor I am. I 
love to go out in it a moonlight night, and lying down in the 



70 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

"bottom, of the boat; let it go wliere it pleases^ the waters 
making such a sweet song about mj ears all the while. I 
have taken my fii'st degrees already, you see/^ 

^^ But what if your boat should blow up, when you are a 
captain, — that would be dreadful/' 

" Yes ; but a carriage may run towards a precipice, and the 
lightning may strike, and the fever destroy you on yoiu' own 
bed. I believe I had rather be blown up in the air, with a 
good many bearing me company, and have the waters, that I 
love so well, for my grave, than lie down all alone in the cold 
ground, shut up in a dark, narrow coffin." 

This reminded Linda of a story that Mr. Longwood had 
told her of a great barbarian of the name of Alaric, who had 
a mountain stream turned back from its coui'se, leaving the 
channel bare, where his grave was dug, and after he was 
buried the waters were made to flow back for ever over his 
body. Roland kindled with enthusiasm at this recital, and 
envied the barbarian king such a magnificent grave. 

Linda repeated to her father all that Roland had told her, 
and begged him to buy him a boat and make him captain, as 
soon as he was a few years older. 

Though Mr. Walton's gratitude was not quite so uncalcu- 
lating as Linda's, he had the interests of his young preserver 
deeply at heart. He had a long conversation with him, in 
which he urged upon him the acceptance of a gift, which 
would assist him in his advancement and free him from all fear 
of pecuniary embarrassment. But the independent and high- 
minded boy, with modest firmness, declined the profiered boon. 

'■'■ If my mother should ever be in distress, or want beyond 
my power to relieve, then," said Roland, his fine countenance 
lighted up with grateful emotion, " I will apply to you, as my 
first, best friend." 

Mr. Walton would have pressed the same offer on the mo- 
ther, but there was a quiet dignity and refinement of manners 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 71 

possessed by Mrs. Lee; a gentle reserve that strunk from any 
allusion to her domestic interests. It was evident that some- 
thing of the pride of better days clung to her; that pride which 
a sensitive person is so fearful of wounding. 

The night before their departure, while he was meditating 
and trying to mature some plans by which he could remuner- 
ate them, without paining the delicacy he respected, he noticed 
a large, old-fashioned, brazen-clasped Bible, lying on th& 
mantel-piece — probably an heir-loom of the family, from the 
venerable antiquity of its appearance. After they had sepa- 
rated fOx the night, he returned to the room for some article 
he had left, and saw Mrs. Lee seated at a table, reading in- 
tently in ^^ that old-fashioned Bible, which lay on the stand.'' 
Softly closing the door, he waited till he heard her quiet foot- 
steps retreating to her own room ; then returning, he put a 
hundred dollar bill between the leaves of the Bible, where 
the widow's mark was placed ; and closing the brazen clasps, 
laid it back upon the shelf. What a different man was Mr. 
Walton, when the pale, stony eyes of his wife were not resting, 
like two dull, heavy weights, on his soul ! 

The next morning the travellers stood by the door, ready 
to depart. Linda's eyes were brimming with tears. The 
heroism of Roland, and the gentle hospitality of his mother, 
had endeared them both to her warm heart. Never could she 
fororet that dear los-cabin amono; the hills. 

Boland looked very sober; he scrutinized Tom with a 
keen eye as he mounted the box, for, more quick-discerning 
than Mr. Walton, he had detected the odour of whisky in his 
breath on the night of the disaster. 

^' Don't be afraid, young Massa," said Tom, winking his 
eyes knowingly. ^^ Tom knows what he's about this time. 
Long as he think of that arm of yours, all splintered up, he 
have enough to make him scary. Never mind, young Massa, 
all safe now." 
5 



72 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

Kind adieus were exchanged — tlie carriage rolled slowly 
from the door. Still, long as the cottage was in view, Linda 
cast her tearful glances backward, and when she could discern 
nothing else, the white scarf that supported Roland's broken 
arm, gleaming through the distance, told her that he was yet 
L ngering on the threshold. 



CHAPTER Vn. 



Ltnda at a boarding-school — another era in her young ex- 
istence. But let us describe Rose Bower, for such was the 
name of Mrs. Reveire's Seminary of Learning, — a large, 
white mansion, with a pillared piazza surrounding the build- 
ing. It was situated in the midst of an ample, green yard, 
margined with rose trees, whose profusion and great luxuriance 
had given name to the classic institution. The thick, cluster- 
ing multiflora and nondescript wreathed the pillars of the 
piazza, and a thick hedge of Cherokee roses ran around the in- 
terior of the wall. The want of shade might have been ob- 
jected to this beautiful building, had not a thick grove of 
young oaks, adjoining the yard, wooed the eye to repose in its 
cool depths. Many a rustic seat, placed beneath the trees, 
showed the use to which they were appropriated by the young 
students of Rose Bower. It was now the season of roses, and 
every bush was glowing with blossoms, every gale was redo- 
lent with their balmy breath. • 

" Oh, what a beautiful place !" exclaimed Linda, when it 
first met her eager gaze. ^' I know I shall be happy here V 
and ''I know I shall be happy here,'' again repeated she to 
herself, when she beheld the lady to whose care she was 
committed, the elegant and accomplished Mrs. Reveire 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 73 

With a sweet benignity of countenance that softened the 
dignity of her mien, she received her young charge, kindly 
holding her by the hand, and smoothing back the bright 
ringlets from her downcast eyes. 

" Your daughter appears very young to be left so far from 
home/^ said the lady, in a gentle tone. '' But we will try to 
keep her from being home-sick with us.'' 

^^I am not afraid of being home-sick with you,'' cried 
Linda, earnestly ; then, blushing at her own warmth, she 
again bent her head till the ringlets shaded her eyes. 

" I think you have brought me a treasure in your daugh- 
ter," said Mrs. Keveire, when Linda had retired to change 
her travelling apparel ; ^^ she has one of the most intelligent, 
ingenuous countenances I ever saw." 

The father was touched — he became eloquent in the praises 
of his child ; but Mrs. Reveire, who read characters by a kind 
of intuition, needed not a parent's recommendation to interest 
her in her new pupil. Her heart had gone forth to meet her 
without waiting for her credentials, and she knew that Linda's 
met it, at least half-way. There was an expression in the 
beautiful eyes of the child that seemed to say, " I want you 
to love me, for I have not always known what love is." 

At length the bell sounded long and loud, to announce that 
supper was ready. Mrs. Keveire led liinda through a long 
passage, down a winding flight of stairs, into a large base- 
ment hall, where two tables were set parallel, the whole length 
of the room. Linda paced with timid steps the long, brick- 
paved hall, and took the place assigned her by Mrs. Reveire. 
Another long peal rung through the house; then came a 
rushing, rustling sound through the passage and on the stair- 
way, and the young ladies of the institute came in two by two, 
and took their stations at the table. There were about fifty ; 
but there was no confusion in arranging them, as they all 
knew their appointed places. 



74 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

"Young ladies/' said Mrs. Reveirej looking kindly at 
Linda, " yon have a new companion in Miss Linda Walton. 
I bespeak for lier your kindest feelings and best offices, as sbe 
is very young, and knows not yet, as you have once felt, the 
loneliness of the stranger's heart/' 

Smiling glances from a myriad of bright eyes answered 
this affectionate address, and Linda smiled again. Thus a 
kind of electrical communication was established between the 
strangers, seldom known after the years of childhood and early 
youth. Linda could not eat ; every thing around her was so 
novel and exciting. The lively clatter of knives and forks — 
the low chatter of mingling voices — the sight of so many 
strange faces — quite bewildered her. Mrs. Reveire did not 
require her pupils to eat in unbroken silence, as "if funeral 
baked meats" were placed before them ; but she did require 
strict propriety and gentility of deportment. If the laugh 
was too loud, or the voice too rough in its tones, a word or 
look, directed towards the offending party recalled them to 
order. 

When supper was over, they retired in regular succession, 
as they came, only one young lady lingering behind, whom 
Mrs. Reveire introduced to Linda as her room-mate, by the 
name of Emily Chestney. She was a tall, stately looking 
girl, with very black hair and eyes, and a skin like polished 
marble. Linda thought she looked cold and haughty, and 
was sorry Mrs. Reviere had not given her as a companion one 
of those younger, merrier-looking girls, who looked so roguish 
and smiling upon her across the table. She was not required 
to study that night ; but sat with her father and Mrs. Reveire 
in the parlour till the ringing of the nine-o'clock bell, when 
another flight of stairs was ascended, another long passage 
threaded, and she found herself in her own dormitory, one of 
a long suite of apartments, so arranged as to accommodate 
two pupils in each. 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 75 

" Oh ! how nice and comfortable V' ejaculated Linda, look- 
ing at the pure white walls, neat wardrobe, and bright-coloured 
curtains. ^^ Are all the rooms like this ?" ■ 

" Yes, exactly," replied Emily; ^^you must remember that 
this is No. 12 ; for, if you should chance to forget, you may 
lose your way and never be able to find it.'^ 

^^It will take me a long time to remember all the new 
things I see here," answered Linda. ^' But Fm sure of one 
thing — I cannot help being happy with such a sweet lady as 
Mrs. Eeveire. Do you not love her very much ?" 

" I like her better than any teacher I ever knew ; but Fm 
tired of going to school, for all that. I think I'm old enough 
to stop." 

" Yes," said Linda, innocently, '< I should think so, too." 

" Do you think I look so very old ?" asked the young 
lady, in a displeased tone. ^^Tm only sixteen." 

" No," replied Linda, timidly ; for she felt she had given 
offence ; "but you are so tall, and look so much like a lady — ■ 
somehow — I thought " 

" No matter," interrupted Emily, " I don't care how I 
look ; but I know how I feel ; and I'm determined to be a 
young lady in earnest before the year is out." 

She gave her books a sudden push, and bid Linda prepare 
for bed, as their candles would be taken out in a short time, 
whether they were ready or not. Linda's head was soon qui- 
etly resting on her pillow, the candle was taken out, and 
Emily lay down by her side. She was weary and drowsy, 
and was just falling asleep, when a tittering noise in the pas- 
sage awakened her. The door softly opened, and the next 
moment something heavy was thrown upon her head. 

"Mercy, what's that?'^ exclaimed Linda, starting up in 
alarm. 

"It is one of the wild girls in the next room," replied 
Emily. " They are throwing their shoes at your head. That 



76 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

is tte Vay I was greeted the first night I came. Take no 
notice of tliem^ or they will do something more annoying." 

Linda remained perfectly still, though she felt a pair of 
cold, wet hands clasping her feet. 

" Let's tickle her," whispered a yoice, at the foot of the bed. 

" No/^ whispered another, ^' she will scream, and Mrs. Ke- 
veire will hear her. We'll only tie her feet to the bed-post." 

"If you do," said Emily, "I will tell Mrs. Keveire my- 
self. You had better go to bed, Kate Miller, and sare your- 
self a mark of disgrace in the morning." 

Another suppressed titter, and all was still again. 

"This is one of the ceremonies of your initiation," said 
Emily. " Be thankful it is no worse." 

Linda was not at all pleased, and began to think she might 
find some thorns amid the sweet roses of the bower. She be- 
came wakeful, and it seemed that Emily was so too ; for she 
rose soon, and, taking a candle from her trunk, lighted it with 
a match, and placed it on the table; then taking a large, 
thick shawl, she hung it carefully over the curtained window, 
so as to exclude every ray of light. Linda did not move, but 
watched her movements with great curiosity, wondering what 
she was going to do that required so much caution. Emily 
seated herself at the table, and opening her portfolio took out 
letter after letter, and read them with the most profound at- 
tention. Then she drew paper, pen, and ink towards her, and 
began to write. Sometimes she would pause, and fix her 
large, bright eyes on the opposite wall so intently, that Linda 
almost expected to see two black spots left on its whiteness ; 
then, bending over her paper, her pen would make that quick, 
scratching sound which impresses the listener with such a 
grand idea of the writer. Linda continued to gaze upon her 
mysterious companion from under the shadow of the bed- 
cover, till Emily's features gradually became pale and misty, 
the lineaments of her figiire melted into the whit^ back-ground, 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 77 

on wMch it was defined, and vanished away. Tlie young 
traveller was asleep. 

It was some time before the inexperienced Linda conld un- 
derstand the various little deceptive arts practised by many of 
the pupils, to elude the vigilance of their teachers. Possessed of 
the most perfect ingenuousness of character herself, she loathed 
the petty subterfuges which she daily witnessed. Becoming 
every day more and more attached to Mrs. Re voire, she con- 
formed to all her rules with reverential obedience, and applied 
herself diKgently to her studies, from the double motive of 
pleasing her instructress and improving herself. The wild 
girls nick-named her at first the ''''little parson j' and passed 
upon her many a practical joke; but when they found that, 
though silent and studious at her desk, and patient and perse- 
vering at her tasks, she was one of the swiftest runners, most 
agile jumpers, and merriest laughers, when they assembled 
at play-hours, in the young oaken grove, she became a gene- 
ral favourito, and no amusement was considered perfect with- 
out the participation of Linda "Walton. 

The child who is favourite of both teachers and pupils, 
must combine many rare qualities. Linda was happy in the 
consciousness of fulfilling her duty, and of being beloved by 
those around her. At home she was a Picciola, blooming in 
the dungeon^ s gloom, fair and sweet, in spite of the chilling 
influences that surrounded her ; here she was a flower in the 
midst of flowers, bathed in sunshine, and rejoicing in the 
breeze. 

It was a lovely sight when the young inmates of Rose 
Bower, released from the restraints and duties of the day, 
gathered together, just before sunset, to revel in the joy of 
freedom. Here a graceful group might be seen, reclining in 
all the abandonment of childish ease on the grass ; there, a 
merrier band, chasing each other under the flying rope ; some 
walking more soberly, with arm interlaced in arm, or passed 



78 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

fondly round tlie girlish waist^ would seek some remote corner, 
and converse earnestly and confidingly -witli each other. Some- 
times a sulky, discontented-looking being, would stray off by 
herself, refusing to share in those pleasures which her own 
envy and jealousy embittered. But these solitary figures were 
very rare. To the passer-by, the oak grove presented as fair 
a spectacle as the garden of Eden — so many living rose-buds 
bursting into fresher, fairer life — so many bounding forms, 
revelling in the mere joy of existence — so many bright ring- 
lets tossing in the breeze, and so many starry eyes flashing 
upon each other rays of gladness and mirth — how could it be 
otherwise than a charming scene ? 

But though the casual observer could detect no flaw in this 
sparkling jewelry, there were some false gems there, unworthy 
of their setting. It pained Linda when she became aware of 
any mischievous plot, which she knew Mrs. Reveire would 
disapprove ; but, though she would not participate in their 
offences, she scorned to betray them. 

Emily was a mystery to her which she could not unravel. 
Frequently she would rise after all the dormitories were quiet, 
and, lighting her secret candle, write as if her whole soul were 
engaged in the task. Linda knew it was wrong, for it was in 
direct violation of Mrs. Beveire's rules, and she wished she 
had a different room-mate. She knew, too, that the letters 
thus secretly written were not given to Mrs. Eeveire to be 
placed in the post-office, as the regulations of the school re- 
quired. Where, then, were they deposited ? 

One morning Linda noticed the washerwoman, who came 
for their clothes, in a long conference with Emily. The latter 
was placing a letter in her bosom as Linda entered the room, 
and her face was flushed with excitement. Linda had con- 
ceived a particular dislike to this woman, who was a free negro 
of the name of Peggy. She was astonished at the extreme 
familiarity to which the young ladies admitted her, and the 



OP THE BELLE CREOLE. 

presents tliey lavished upon her. She scarcely ever left their 
apartments without bearing with her some article of clothing 
which she was very careful to conceal from the searching eye 
of Mrs. Reveire. 

Peggy's cabin was situated back of the beautiful grove we 
have so often mentioned, entirely concealed by its luxuriant 
foliage. One evening, Kate Miller, the wild girl who had 
threatened to tie Linda's feet on the night of her arrival, drew 
Linda apart from her companions, and winding her arm 
around her waist, asked her if she did not want to go and see 
what a pretty little cottage Peggy had. 

'^ But does Mrs. Reveire allow you to go there ?" asked the 
conscientious Linda. 

^' Oh, she don't care where we go, if we keep within school 
boundaries, and the lot where Peggy lives belongs to her. 
All you have to do is to jump over this fence and you will be 
there in the twinkling of an eye." 

jSTotwithstanding Linda's dislike of Peggy, she thought her 
cottage looked very inviting through the green trees, with its 
white-washed lattice, and neat little porch ; and with the na- 
tural curiosity of childhood, was glad to peep within. 

As they approached the door, she was surprised by hearing 
the hum of many laughing voices. 

^^Oh, I dont want to go in," said Linda, trying to release 
her arm from Kate, who only grasped it the tighter. " There 
are so many people there — I know Mrs. Reveire will not like 
it." 

" Mrs. Reveire will not like it !" exclaimed Kate, mocking 
Linda's deprecating tones. '^ I don't care whether she likes 
it or not. She'll never find it out unless you tell her. Here 
girls," she cried in a louder voice, " come and help, — ^I've got 
a new member of our secret club ; come quickly." 

Half a dozen familiar faces appeared at the door, laughing 
violently. 



80 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

" Wliat ! tlie little parson ! — well done. This is capital. 
We must make lier say grace for us." 

Linda struggled and entreated in vain. They seized her by 
main force, and whirled her into the centre of the room, while 
two of the girls stood in the doorway to preclude the possi- 
bility of her egress. 

" Welcome to Liberty Hall, Miss Linda !" cried Kate, clap- 
ping her hands exultingly. " You are one among us now, 
and there is no use in being sanctified any longer." 

Linda gazed around her in unutterable astonishment. One 
pretty, delicate girl was stooping over a hot fire, though it 
was a warm summer eve, busily engaged in frying eggs ; an- 
other was turning some rashers of bacon, with a face the colour 
of crimson ] and a third was stirring a pot of custard, as if 
her life depended on the act. Bread and butter, cake and 
pickles were scattered over a table, to which Kate Miller drag- 
ged the shrinking Linda. 

^^Here, honey, help yourself. Plenty of every thing in 
Liberty Hall. Peggy serves us like a princess. I mean she 
shall be queen of May next year." 

^' I dont want any thing to eat," cried Linda, indignantly, 
"but what I find on Mrs. Keveire's table. I am sure she 
doesn't starve us, that we should come and eat in a negro 
hovel." 

"Young Missus hold her head mighty high," muttered 
Peggy, who sat in a corner, smoking her long pipe, whose 
fumes were mingling with the odour of the viands. " Me no 
care. Bigger ladies than she glad enough to come and see 
l*eggy." 

" Hear ! hear !'^ exclaimed Kate ; " the little parson is 
preaching. She is holding forth against the sin of gluttony, 
but she's longing all the time for some of the goodies. Come, 
Linda, this is all pretence; make yourself at home. You 
don't know what fun we have here." 



or THE BELLE CREOLE. 81 

"No, let her go and tell Mrs. Reveire. That will be 
better fun for ber/' cried one of Kate's companions. 

'^I have never betrayed my companions/' said Linda, tears 
of wounded feeling starting into her eyes. 

" No, that sbe liasn't,'' interrupted Kate, frankly. " I am 
not afraid of her doing any thing so mean.'' 

Linda remarked, for the first time, that Emily Chestney was 
present, seated at a back window, with her usual cold and ab- 
stracted air. 

^^ You here, Emily !" exclaimed Linda. ^^I wouldn't have 
believed it." 

The marble white of Emily's cheek turned a bright crimson. 
"I did not come to eat," replied she, contemptuously. 

" Mercy !" exclaimed one of the door-keepers, ^^ if here isn't 
Mrs. Reveire !" 

With one bound she sprang under the table, making a ter- 
rible crash among Peggy's china. Fried eggs, boiled custard, 
and broiling ham, all leaped into the coals. Every chair was 
upset in the running and confusion which followed this unex- 
pected announcement. Linda stood still in the centre of the 
apartment, and hers was the first figure which met the calm, 
but indignant glance of Mr^. Reveire. 

" Linda, I little expected to see you here," cried she, in a 
voice which she in vain endeavoured to render tranquil 
" And Emily, too ; the dignified and lady-like Emily Chest- 
ney ! Li whom can I place confidence ?" 

Linda bent her head and wept bitterly-. 

"Linda didn't come of her own will," exclaimed Kate Mil- 
ler, boldly: "I dragged her in, and almost pulled my arms 
off in doing it." 

" I am glad, Kate, you have the redeeming virtue of can- 
dour left," replied Mrs. Reveire, gravely. "Linda, I rejoice 
that I have not been deceived in you. My feelings are suflS.- 
ciently wounded already. Grateful I am, that di'op of bitter- 



82 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

ness is not infused into my cup of care. As for you, un- 
principled woman/' added she, turning to Peggy, lier usually 
benignant countenance flashing with indignation, ^^ where are 
the spoils you have hidden, the garments you have bribed 
these young ladies to bestow upon you, by pampering their 
lowest propensities, and teaching them the vilest deceit ? I 
have discovered the shameless traffic you have been carrying 
on ; in time, I trust, to prevent its worst consequences." 

Peggy began to mutter that she was free, and that she 
never asked the young ladies to give her their clothes ; but 
Mrs. Reveire commanded her with so much dignity to produce 
the ill-gotten spoils she had so long been secreting, that she 
dared not disobey. Hauling a large basket from under the 
bed, she displayed a quantity of dresses, aprons, skirts, &c., 
which filled even the ringleaders of this secret club with as- 
tonishment. 

^' Young ladies," cried Mrs. Eeveire, to the pale and trem- 
bling culprits surrounding that ominous-looking basket, '^ if 
this poor, ignorant negro deserves so severe a rebuke, what 
can I say to you, whose minds are enlightened by education ; 
whose hearts have been softened by the tenderest cares ? Is 
this the reward of my affection ? the return for my watchful 
days, my almost sleepless nights ? Have I ever imposed a re- 
straint that was not for your good ? Have I ever denied you 
food that you should gather in this low place and share the 
hospitality of a hireling ? What would your parents say if 
they entered at this moment, and witnessed the scene now 
presented to my eyes. Unhappy children ! you are bringing 
discredit on an institution which has long been my pride and 
delight. You are planting the thorns of ingratitude in the 
roses of my bower." 

The heads of the culprits drooped lower and lower; sobs 
burst forth ; the wild spirit of fun and misrule was subdued 
by the calm, earnest, affectionate accents of her whom they 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 83 

loved, in spite of all their folly and disobedience. Linda ran 
and threw her arms around Mrs. Keveire. 

^^Oh, dear, best Mrs. Eeveire, pray forgive them this time. 
They are very, very sorry. It is from the love of fun they 
have done it.^^ 

'^ Fun is a low word, my child; an excuse for the most 
grovelling actions. Those who have no higher object in their 
amusements, generally have recourse to the lowest and most 
degraded auxiliaries. I would have the young ladies commit- 
ted to my care cultivate a spirit of refinement in their most 
unguarded hours, their wildest moments of recreation. I 
would have them remember that they were brought here to 
receive the education of ladies, and that I do not divide my 
authority with the ignorant and debased. ^^ 

She spoke with so much majesty that Linda, fearful that 
she had offended, involuntarily relaxed the soft pressure of 
her arms, and turned aside her tearful eyes. 

^^jSTay, my sweet child,'^ said she, drawing her once more 
closely to her, " I am not insensible to your touching appeal. 
My own heart is only too ready to grant your request. But 
I have a duty to fulfil, and these young ladies must not min- 
gle with their associates till I am assured, by their penitence 
and good behaviour, that contamination will not result from 
their companionship." 

Many a fair head looked down from Eose Bower on the 
novel procession that issued from Peggy's cottage that even- 
ing. First, Peggy marched forth, an immense basket tower- 
ing like a turret on her head; then the delinquents followed, 
two and two, hanging their heads like bulrushes; lastly, Mrs. 
Re voire, with Emily and Linda on either side. There was 
something so graceful and dignified about this lady, it was im- 
possible to associate any thing ridiculous with her, in whatever 
situation she might be j^laced ; and Emily, though her lip 
quivered, walked by her instructress with a step as firm ana 



84 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

a "brow as lofty. The culprits were dismissed to their 
rooms, where they were told to remain until personally sum- 
moned, — all but Emily, whom Mrs. Reveire led to her own 
apartment. 

" Why do you bring me here T' asked she, proudly, " I am 
willing to submit to the same punishment as my companions.^' 

^^ I do not wish to punish so much as to convince,'' said the 
lady. " You were not led by the love of fun, if I must use 
so low an expression. You have other motives, Emily ; mo- 
tives which, however studiously you conceal from me, your 
delegated friend, are yet known to me, and fill me with the 
deepest anxiety." 

^^ Oh ! madam — what is it you mean ?" 

" You are carrying on a secret correspondence. You have 
intrusted Peggy with the care of your letters ; you have com- 
mitted your reputation into the hands of a servant, and 
closed your heart to one whom you would find as ready to 
sympathize in your affections as assist you in your duties, pro- 
vided, always, those affections were flowing in a legitimate 
channel." 

^^ Oh, madam !" again ejaculated Emily, covering her face 
with her hands and bursting into a passionate flood of tears. 
She wept as only the proud can weep, when the barriers of 
their pride are swept aside. Mrs. Reveire sat down by her 
side, and put her arms kindly round her. Her own voice fal- 
tered — her own eyes were dim with tears. 

^^ I grieve to see you suffer, Emily ; and woiild gladly 
spare you the pain and humiliation you now endure. If you 
will grant me your full confidence, I will endeavour to save 
you from exposure and shame ] and, if possible, promote your 
future happiness. Though I have learned to discipline my 
passions and bring them under the control of reason and 
judgment, I have not forgotten the memory of my youthful 



OP THE BELLE CREOLE. 85 

days, or the temptations to wliicli a warm, romantic imagina- 
tion exposes its possessor/' 

" Oh, Mrs. Reveire ! how kind, how more than kind you 
are ! I am not worthy of such goodness, but I can appreciate 
it as it deserves. Ask me any thing — every thing ; I will 
have no more concealments. I have been too wretched in the 
practice of deceit." 

Mrs. Reveire gathered from Emily's broken recital, that 
she was betrothed to a young man whom she had known from 
earliest childhood, but to whom her father objected, because 
he was not rich. She had been sent to a distant school that 
she might be removed from his vicinity, and positively forbid- 
den to have any correspondence with him. Through Peggy, 
she had received his letters from the office, directed to a ficti- 
tious name, and sent her own in return. 

" And now," said she, after acknowledging the full extent 
of her transgressions, " you know how basely I have deceived 
you, can you extend to me your forgiveness ? It is in your 
power to destroy my happiness for ever. You can inform my 
father of my disobedience, and he will remove me still farther 
from all I love. I have no right to expect any other decision. 
Even then, I must ever be grateful for the gentleness and for- 
bearance you have exercised towards me." 

Emily begged permission to retire a moment to her own 
chamber, which, having obtained, she brought her portfolio, 
and laid it in Mrs. Reveire's lap. 

" I wish you to read his letters," said she ; " perhaps they 
will plead in my behalf." 

Mrs. Eeveire read several; not from idle curiosity, but 
from a desire to learn something of the character of the 
young man so romantically beloved. She became deeply in- 
terested in their contents, for they seemed the transcript of a 
warm and generous heart, a cultivated and enlightened mind. 

^' I will write to him myself," said she, " urging him, for 



86 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

your sake^ to discontinue this clandestine correspondence, 
promising to intercede with your father with all the eloquence 
of which I am mistresS; in behalf of both. You are very 
young, Emily ; and for every sacrifice you now make to duty, 
you will be richly rewarded hereafter. If your lover does 
not value you more for this adherence to principle, he is not 
worthy of the affection you have bestowed upon him.'' 

Relieved from the intolerable burden of duplicity, Emily's 
character appeared in a new and interesting light. She mani- 
fested the warmest attachment to Mrs. Reveire, and the most 
affectionate interest in Linda, The cold, abstracted, and 
statue-like girl, became the kind and sympathizing companion. 

It is scarcely necessary to state the manner in which Mrs. 
Reveire received information of the social meetings at Liberty 
Hall, or the secret correspondence of Emily. She employed 
no spies : but when her servants, by whom she was much be- 
loved, saw evil doings and secret machinations, they were sure 
to give her intelligence. 

After this, every thing went on smoothly for a long time at 
Rose Bower. The gentle firmness of Mrs. Reveire had the 
happiest influence on the young offenders. 

Even the wild Kate Miller began to think there was some- 
thing low in fun, and that there were pleasures superior to 
gluttony and deceit. 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 87 



CHAPTER VIII. 

About a year from the time that Linda became a resident 
of Rose Rower, the father of Emily came to bear her home. 
"When Mrs. Reveire solicited a private interview with him, 
Emily trembled, for she felt as if that conversation would de- 
cide her destiny. 

^' My dear Emily," said the lady, entering the chamber of 
her pupil— ^^ be happy. The extreme worth, growing reputa- 
tion, and constant attachment of your friend, combined with 
your own resignation to his will, have induced your father to 
withdraw his prohibition and consent to your union. I lose a 
beloved pupil, but I trust society will gain a good? a noble 
woman." 

Emily, with a burst of grateful sensibility, threw her arms 
around the neck of her instructress. " You have made me 
what I am. Your tenderness and sympathy, even more than 
your wisdom and your goodness, have influenced my proud 
and wayward nature, and softened my heart for the reception 
of truth and virtue. I owe every thing to you; not only the 
happiness of my future life, but a mind and heart capable of 
enjoying it as I ought." 

" This is indeed a reward," exclaimed Mrs. Reveire, press- 
ing the grateful girl to her bosom. " This moment would re- 
pay me for life-long cares." 

The parting between Emily and Linda was tender and 
affectionate. " We shall meet again," said Emily ; " some- 
thing tells me, we shall meet in after years, and renew the 
friendship that commenced in sweet Rose Bower. Young as 
you are, Linda, you have taught me many a lesson of self- 
control, which I shall not soon foi'get. You do not know how 
6 



88 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

niucli those eyes of yours have said to roe in the silence of our 
little room, — nor how much my conscience has been troubled 
by their expressive language. Oh ! if I ever realize the hap- 
piness, whose prospect, even now, makes my heart ache, from 
the intensity of its bliss, I must find you out, Linda, wherever 
you may be, and you must come and share my domestic 
Eden/^ 

Linda gazed on the glowing countenance of Emily, and 
wondered what that happiness was, which could thus glorify 
the human face. She had always thought Emily handsome, 
now she was transcendently beautiful. 

The young heiress tried to shadow forth her own future, and 
it was strange, that whenever the pencil of imagination began 
to sketch the outline, the figure of a youth, flying as with the 
wings of an eagle, or lying, with pale cheek, shaded by the 
horse's flowing mane, was sure to occupy the foreground. 
Then, the vast ocean would appear, with its sea-green waves, 
crested with dazzling foam, bearing over its undulating sur- 
face one stately vessel, and as it bowed its graceful spars and 
towering mast to the breeze, the same figure, only taller, and 
more man-like, trod the deck with the step of a master. Or 
borne on the waters of her own Alabama, or the grand Missis- 
sippi, a boat glided majestically along, and through the black 
volumes of smoke that curled o'er the dark blue current, that 
same gallant form was seen, presiding, like a young Neptune, 
over the watery element. 

After the departure of Emily, one of the pupils, rather 
younger than Linda, whose name was Louisa, but universally 
called Luta, begged for the vacant place in Linda's apartment. 
She was one of those sweet, loving beings, that wind like a 
fragrant garland round the heart. There was the slightest 
possible obliquity in her soft, violet eye, a half smile on her 
red, parted lips, and a graceful inclination of the head, like a 
young flower bending over its stem, that made Luta a most 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 89 

Winning young creature. Her mind was not mncli expanded. 
She seemed all heart, born to love and to be loved. One even- 
ing, after jumping the rope, she sat on the grass, and leaned 
her head wearily on Linda^s lap. Her cheeks were the hue 
of scarlet, and her hands were dry and hot. '^ You have 
jumped too long, Luta dear,^^ said Linda, laying down her 
book, and passing her hand tenderly over Luta's burning 
cheek. " But you must not lie here on this dewy grasS; when 
you are so warm and feverish.'^ 

^^ Oh ! my head aches so bad," cried Luta, leaning against 
Linda, after they both rose from the ground. The girls all 
left their play and gathered anxiously round their little 
favourite. They had never heard her complain of illness, and 
a few moments before she had been in buoyant spirits. Mrs, 
Reveire thought her indisposition was caused by too violent exer- 
cise, and that a night's rest would restore her, but the morning 
found her feverish and languid. " I did not sleep the whole 
night,'' said the patient child, ^^ but I would not complain, for 
fear of waking Linda." 

A physician was summoned, who pronounced it a light case 
of fever, and left some gentle prescription, but towards night 
the scarlet cheek, and burning hand, and aching head contra- 
dicted the doctor's assertion. Mrs. Reveire became alarmed, 
and thought it her duty to remove Linda, fearing she might 
be exposed to the contagion of a malignant disease. She took 
her aside and expressed her fears and determination, 

" Pray don't ask me to leave her," said Linda, entreatingly, 
" you don't know what a good nurse I will make." 

" But your own health, my child. Her disease is assuming 
an alarming form, and I cannot allow you to be endangered." 

^^ I have no mother, to mourn for me if I should die," uttered 
Linda, in a sad tone, ^^ as Luta has." 

^^ But you have a kind father." 

*^ Yes ! but that isn't like a mother. He might find some 



90 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

other child to love, and forget me by-and-by." She remem- 
bered how her father had seemed to forget her dead mother, 
and marry that dreadful woman, and thought that the love 
of man was not enduring. 

Mrs. Reveire could not shake Linda's resolution, to re- 
main with her suffering young friend. In the strength of 
her fearless affection, she was equal to the task. During 
the night Mrs. Reveire, who had a cot brought in for the 
purpose, remained in the room, but when the duties of the 
day required her attendance, Luta was left to the charge of 
Linda, to whom she clung closer and closer, as she grew more 
sick and suffering. She would turn the fading violet of her 
eyes after her stilly footstep, and hold her hand in her burn- 
ing one, during her short, feverish slumbers, and sometimes 
she would bend forward and lean her hot head on Linda's 
bosom, as if she found relief only there. 

One night, as she lay in that attitude, so still that Linda 
supposed she slept, Luta felt tear after tear falling on her dry 
and throbbing temples. ^^ What makes you cry so, Linda V 
asked she, trying to lift her heavy eyes, to the pitying face 
bending over her. 

" I am sorry to see you suffer," replied Linda, drying with 
her lips the dew of her heart. 

^' I give you so much trouble, and you are so good. You 
don't eat or sleep, and I am afraid you will die too." 

^' Oh ! Luta you must not speak so. You will be better 
soon, and play with us on the green once more." 

"No," said the child, laying her head back on the pillow, and 
fixing her eyes mournfully on Linda's face ; "I shall never sit 
under the oak trees again, or run about on the green grass. I 
shall never see my father and mother, for they will not reach 
here till I am dead, for it's a long, long way. Oh ! Linda," 
continued she, gathering strength as the fever burned hotter in 
xier veins, " don't leave me. Stay with me all the time. When 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 91 

they dress me all in white and lay me in the dark coffin, you 
must not leave me, for I shall be afraid to be left alone. And 
when they put me in the cold ground, you must come and lie 
down by my side.^' 

The fire of delirium began to flash from her eyes. Trem- 
bling with alarm, Linda called Mrs. Reveire, and they both 
watched her till morning light. The doctor now declared 
the case hopeless, and it was whispered from room to room 
that Luta was going to die. What solemnity, silence, and 
gloom pervaded that late busy, joyous household. The light 
laugh was hushed, the careless footstep stayed, the foolish jest 
heard no more. Death was entering the house, and 

" Never before 
Had Ms skeleton feet ever trod on that floor." 

Every little while, a pale face would appear at the half-open 
door, and a low voice inquire after the invalid, and then another 
and another, but Linda^s pale face was always by the pillow 
of the dying, and her heart was taking in a solemn lesson. 

The delirium of the child assumed a most touching charac- 
ter. ^^ Please tell my father and mother,^^ she would earnestly 
plead, ^^ that Tve been a good girl. I didn't go to Peggy's. 
You know I didn't, Mrs. Reveire. You would not scatter 
roses over me when I am dead, if I had. That was an ugly 
place, and the floor was all swimming with blackness. Tell 
them too how good Linda is. There's a pair of white wings 
under her muslin apron, and, when I sleep, she fans me with 
them, so gently — there — I feel them fluttering now/^ 

G-radually her ravings died away, into the lethargy of ap- 
proaching dissolution. Then, when she was past all danger of 
excitement, Mrs. Reveire led in her pupils one by one, to take a 
farewell look of their dying companion. Poetry and fiction 
may describe the beauty of death and the loneliness of decay, 
but the solemn reality of the scene belies these gilded pictures 



Si2 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

Luta was a lovely ctild^ one of tlie fairest of tliat youtliful 
throng. Those half-closed, glazed, and sinking orbs, were 
thej the violet eyes through which the loving heart so 
sweetly shone ? Those parched and blackened lips, those sal- 
low, hueless cheeks, where are now their living roses ? 

^^ Behold,'^ says Mrs. Reveire, solemnly addressing her 
weeping pupils, " and let the pride of youthful confidence no 
longer .swell your bosom. She is going where we cannot fol- 
low her now, though we must one day travel the same lonely 
path. Alone must she lie down in her grave. Alone must 
she stand before the bar of Grod. There, we trust a Saviour's 
arm will enfold her — for she was lovely and good. But she 
must give an account of the golden opportunities of her youth, 
whether neglected or improved. She hears me not, she heeds 
me not, her ear is dull, and will soon be closed with the dust 
of the grave — but you, my beloved ones, whose young hearts 
still glow with life and hope — for you is the awful lesson writ- 
ten, the warning judgment gone forth." 

^^ And here is another lesson," continued she, laying her 
hand on Linda's drooping head, ^^ here is one, younger than 
most of you, who never looked on death before, save one short 
glimpse of her dead mother's face. With a martyr's fearless 
patience she has travelled step by step with her young com- 
panion down the dark valley of the shadow of death. Her 
arms have enfolded, her love sustained, and her presence cheer- 
ed, and whether she passes away in the spring-time of life, 
or lies down in hoary age, Grod will send his angels to minister 
unto her, and scatter blessings round her dying couch." Mrs. 
Keveire's feelings became too high-wrought for speech. She 
knelt by the expiring Luta and bowed her head on the bed- 
cover. 

Youthful maiden — blooming school-girl — for you this scene 
IS portrayed. Have you ever followed the cold body of one 
of your companions to the narrow house appointed for all the 



OP THE BELLE CREOLE. 93 

living ? Was it not a sad spectacle, and did you not turn in 
agony from the bright sun and smiling sky, that seemed to 
shine in mockery of the dead ? Did not your heart sicken to 
see the flowers, blooming on in unfaded beauty, while the 
flower of life was blighted for ever ? 

The morning was cloudless, and the air serene, when a long 
procession was seen winding along, through a shaded avenue, 
leading from Eose Bower. Clothed in white, with sable 
badges, they walked behind the bier^on which, covered with 
the sweeping, black pall, that solemn banner of the grave, was 
borne the remains of the young, the innocent, the loving Luta. 
They laid her down in her last couch, and scattered white 
roses on the dark coffin-lid. Then, their sweet, sad voices 
rose in melancholy harmony, chanting a funeral hymn. 

" I would not live always — I ask not to stay," repeated in 
mournful cadence those youthful voices ; and the gale, as it 
sighed through the willows that wept in that place of graves 
seemed to echo the dirge-like strains — " I would not live al- 
ways — I ask not to stay." 

" Farewell, sweet Luta," said the heart of Linda. ^- 1 
have stayed by you when you lay in your white shroud 
and your dark coffin. I must leave you now all alono 
in the cold grave ; though, if God willed it, I would gladly 
•lie down by your side, for the world is a dreary place." And 
so it seems, when the loved and lovely are taken from the 
sight, and an awful blank is left ; but time passes on, the world 
begins to look fair again, and the waste places of the heart to 
bloom once more. 



94 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 



CHAPTER IX. 

Linda on her homeward journey. Two years have passed 
since she left Pinegrove, and she and Kobert are to meet 
during the holidays at their own home. Little reason as she 
had to love the home where her stepmother presided, she 
could not but anticipate with pleasure the return to familiar 
scenes, associated with the memories of her earliest childhood. 
She wanted to see how Eobert looked now he was nineteen, 
almost a man, and wondered whether he would treat her as 
kindly as he did just before they parted. But far more than 
all, she longed to see the cottage on the hill, where the gentle 
Mrs. Lee and the brave Roland dwelt. 

'•'■ Did you stop there as you came V^ asked Linda of her 
father, as they drew near the memorable spot. 

^^ No, I was too anxious to see my child,'' replied Mr. Wal- 
ton ; ^^ but we will call now, and inquire after our gallant 
young friend." 

Linda's heart beat quick when, through an opening in 
the trees, she caught a glimpse of the well-known mansion ; 
but the hospitable door was shut, the windows closed, and 
the grass grew rank about the threshold. 

" Oh, father," cried Linda, pale with disappointment and 
apprehension, " there's nobody here ! What has become of 
them V 

'^ They have probably removed," replied her father. ^^Mrs. 
Lee told me she thought of doing so. I am very sorry, for I 
really loved that boy, and his mother was a lady in every 
sense of the word. Let us walk round the lot, and see if we 
can find any one, who can give us information of them.'' 

Linda eagerly sprang from the carriage, and sought the 



or THE BELLE CREOLE. 95 

paths now partly oyergrown with weeds, which she and Ro- 
land had together traced. She looked for the mocking-birds' 
Qest; but the vines coiled like huge serpents over the hollow 
where their young tendrils once made a fairy bower. Linda 
gazed sadly on the changes time and neglect had wrought, 
when her eye suddenly lighted up. What was it she saw on 
the gray, mossy stone, leaning like a broken pillar against the 
tree ? Her own name, rudely but distinctly carved. Her 
first sensation was delight that Eoland had not forgotten her ; 
but that old, mossy tablet looked so much like a tombstone in 
the midst of the silence and loneliness that she could not bear 
to linfrer near it. She saw the waters of the creek where Ro- 
land had launched his bark canoe, gleaming in the sunshine, 
and she persuaded her father to let her ramble to its banks, 
while he remained near the deserted cottage. She found the 
bark canoe moored in a little cove, formed by the shade of 
the silver-trunked beech. Again Linda's eye sparkled, for 
strangely eloquent, in that still spot, her own name spoke 
again and again from the smooth, white bark. Even on 
the darkened birch of the canoe she could read the same 
characters. The solitude seemed vocal with the name of 
Linda. But where was the hand that had traced those rustic 
letters — where the arm broken for their deliverance ? Linda 
turned away with a sigh, and for many a mile she rode in 
silence at her father's side. 

^^ Oh, how natural every thing looks V exclaimed Linda 
when, at her journey's close, she beheld her own home after 
an absence of two years ; her first absence, and how long it 
seemed in the retrospect ! " Can this be Robert ?" thought 
she, as a tall and very handsome youth eagerly approached 
the carriage-door to assist her in alighting. The question 
was answered by the young man's catching her in his arms, 
and giving a welcome so cordial that her cheeks were covered 
viith blushes. 



96 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

" Why, Linda, how pretty, how very pretty you are V ex- 
claimed Robert, fixing his bold, black eyes, sparkling with 
unafi'ected admiration, on his youthful step-sister. " Ohj 
puella carissima! as Aristides would most feelingly remark, 
you are more than welcome to old Pinegrove/' 

^^ And what a tall gentleman and expert flatterer Master 
Robert is become !'^ answered Linda, smilingly. ^^ But, pray, 
tell me if you have heard any thing of our dear, good, non- 
pareil of a schoolmaster V 

" Yes, I met a gentleman at the university, just returned 
from Cuba, who knew our sapient teacher very well. His 
health was amending, and he was quoting Latin more fu- 
riously than ever. Honour to Aristides wherever he may be. 
If he had not whipped a little of the offending Adam out of 
me, I should have grown up the veriest bear in the universe. 
Ah, Linda, did you not think me a horrible young monster 
when I first came among you ?'' 

Linda had now reached the threshold, which was still 
guarded by the faithful Bruno. Chained to his old block, he 
lay shaggy and massy, and apjoarently half asleep ; but there 
was a bright look of recognition in his intelligent eyes, and 
a quivering motion of his huge paws, when Linda came near 
him. " Ah, Bruno, you have not forgotten me," cried his 
young mistress, joyfully patting his broad head. ^'You 
remember the biscuits I tossed into that large mouth." She 
checked herself, fearing she was betraying the secret of her 
night-ramble ; but she had so often fed Bruno that no one 
knew to what she referred. , 

Linda thought the eyebrows of Mrs. Walton looked whiter 
and more highly arched than ever ', that her lips looked more 
pinched and cold, for she compared her to the loved image of 
Mrs. Reveire, treasured in her heart, and there were but few 
who would not suffer by the comparison. She evidently tried 
to b? gracious, and Linda was grateful for the effort, and gave 



OP THE BELLE CREOLE. 97 

her real heart-smiles in return for the little, pale gleams of 
kindness that lighted up her stony eyes. The negroes gave 
her a rapturous welcome. Aunt Judy had been allowed to 
come over and he present at the first greeting. When Linda, 
half-wild with excitement, was running about the yard, look- 
ing for the ducks, chickens, and geese, Judy took her aside, 
for her heart was brimming over, and was really aching 
from its fulness. She caught the hands of her pet-child, first 
one and then the other, and pressed her African lips upon 
their snow ; then leaning her tall, white turban against the 
garden railing, sobbed aloud : 

" Oh, Lord a mercy ! bless her and presarve her for ever 
and ever ! And did the blessed child think so much of poor, 
good-for-nothing old nigger as to go all living alone through 
the woods, when all dark as pitch, to get good massa to buy 
and take care of poor Judy ? Lord, bless her ! I never 
knew ^bout it when she went away, or Td crawled on my 
hands and knees arter to kiss the dust of her feet ; and now 
she came back so pretty and so good. Oh ! if poor, dear 
missus was but live to see it V^ 

^^Pray, Aunt Judy,'' cried Linda, smiling through the 
tears the affectionate and grateful creature had brought to her 
eyes j " pray, don't eat my hands up ; and, pray, don't make 
me cry and look ugly, when I've just got home and everybody 
is staring at me so hard." 

" Young missus look puty any way — no matter if she cry 
her eye out her head, she look sweet ; the Lord bless her little 
soul !" 

" Mr. Marshall has turned traitor, I see," said Linda, '^ and 
broken his promise ; but say no more about it. Aunt Judy — 
it is not worth the thanking. Instead of being as dark as 
pitch, it was as bright as day, and the fairies were hopping 
among the pine trees, keeping me company the whole way. 
Then I had such a nice ride home with iMr. Marshall. You 



98 LINDA ; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

don't know how grand I felt. He is a kind master, is lie not, 
Judy V 

^^ Qih, yes, missy, tlie best massa ever was. But, when 
young missy get married, Judy come and live with, her all 
her horn days.^' 

'^ That will be a long time to come," said the young girl ; 
and Robert came to lead her into the house. 

^^ I know what Massa Robert got in his head,'' muttered the 
negro, following them with her eyes and shaking her head 
significantly. ^^ I know what new, old missus got in her head 
too, — nigger see a heap they an't thinking of. But the Lord 
never meant them two come together. Millennium time an't 
here yet, and lions and lambs don't get in the same pen. 
Massa Robert sure enough ! Tore he my massa, I see him 
eat alive fust !" 

When Linda retired for the night, and Nelly ushered her 
into one of the comjpany rooms, always kept so carefully swept 
and garnished, she said laughingly to her attendant, " You 
have mistaken the room, Nelly. I don't see the old rafters, 
and cobwebs, and little, red pine-table. You must think I am 
company." 

^^ And so she be," said Nelly, grinning ; " you no sleep in 
that old hole any more. Missus got it full of dried fruit and 
cotton, and a heap o' things besides. It no fit for you any 
how, and she ought to be 'shamed of hisself to put you 
there." 

"Has she put Robert in my little room again?" asked 
Linda. 

" No, he too big for that this time. He mad as fire, when 
he think on't, I 'spect now." 

Linda was far happier at home than she expected to be. 
Her step-mother was mysteriously polite, and Robert more 
than kind. They enjoyed together all the amusements a 
country residence afi'orded. Every day he accompanied her 



01 THE BELLE CREOLE. 99 

on horseback, through the woods, whose pure, resinous odours 
she delighted to inhale. Robert was a noble, fearless rider, 
and as he dashed along on his spirited steed, his long, black 
locks flying back from his brow, Linda could not help admir- 
ing his equestrian graces, though she wished he would be more 
gentle to the horses, and not show such superfluous fierceness 
of manner in disciplining them. She wished, too, he would 
not praise her so much, and tell her how pretty she was, and 
what a beautiful woman she was going to be. She thought it 
very silly in him, — ^her own step-brother. 

One day, as they were riding slowly along over a sandy 
path, Robert turned to her very abruptly, — 

•^ What's the reason, Linda, you never told me about that 
farmer boy, who stopped your carriage on the way to perdi- 
tion V 

"What more have I to tell, but that he saved our lives at 
a fearful risk to himself !'' said Linda, blushing. 

"Well, I don't see any thing in the question to make yoii 
blush," said Robert, pettishly. "Wasn't he a great, coarse, 
vulgar-looking boy, — dressed in homespun and red brogans V 

" No, indeed," answered Linda, angry at the sneering man- 
ner of Robert. " There was nothing coarse or vulgar about 
him. It was easy enough to see he was a gentleman's son. 
His dress might have been of domestic manufacture, but it 
did not disgi'ace him, or prevent him from looking hand- 
some.'^ 

" You seem to admire the young gentleman exceedingly." 

"One would think you thought my life of little value, 
to hear the scornful way in which you speak of my de- 
liverer." 

" It is because I value it so much, Linda, that I cannot 
bear to think it was rescued by that plebeian boy." 

Linda's spirit was roused — an expression of unutterable 
disdain curled the young roses of her lips. 



100 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

" That plebeian boy," sbe cried, " as you are pleased to call 
him, Eobert, is one of liature's noblemen. He is your equal 
in every thing but fortune ; and far more than equal, for he 
does not depend upon such poor things as money and birth to 
lift him up in the world. I tell you he is a gentleman, and 
I shall despise any one who contradicts me after this. There/^ 
she added, laughing and looking back, as she urged her horse 
into a canter, — " haven't I made a fine speech V 

Robert bit his lip with vexation, but he had never ad- 
mired Linda so much before. Jealousy began to mingle with 
his dawning passion, and the more difficult the object appeared 
of attainment, the more precious it seemed in his estimation. 
As he rode along, silent and gloomy, Linda felt sorry that she 
had spoken with so much warmth. 

^^Let us shake hands, brother Robert, and not quarrel any 
more. It is not likely I shall ever see Roland Lee again, but 
I must ever think of him with gratitude and respect.'' 

'• I wish you would not call me brother,'^ said Robert. " I 
am no more brother of yours than this famous Roland is.'' 

"Really you are very strange, Mr. Robert Graham. Is 
that respectful enough to suit your majesty ?" 

" I don't want you to be respectful. I want you to be more 
affectionate, more familiar than ever; but, for heaven's sake, 
stop calling me brother." 

Linda looked with astonishment — almost fear — upon Ro- 
bert. His manners were so strange, his colour so high, and 
his voice so excited. Surely he could not be intoxicated. 
Yet, what could be the cause of his singular behaviour ? 

" Linda," said he, seizing her bridle with one hand, so as to 
check the rapid motion of her horse j " you and I are getting 
old enough to understand each other. I am nineteen, and 
you are fourteen, are you not ?" 

"Yes,— but what of that?" 

" Why, in two years I shall be twenty-one, and you will be 



or THE BELLE CREOLE. 101 

sixteen. I shall have left college and you Rose Bower; and 
then we shall both be thinking of getting married." 

Linda, who dreamed not of the application of his words, 
laughed till the green woods rang. 

^' Married ! I hope you don't think I'm such a silly little 
girl as to have such ridiculous ideas in my head. Mrs. Reveire 
taught me something better than that. Why ! I am nothing 
but a child, and haven't left off my bib aprons yet." 

^^ You are not such a child but what you can understand 
what I mean, if you choose," cried Robert, colouring still 
deeper, for he knew he was taking a bold step, though often 
prompted by his mother. ^'I mean that in two years you 
will be old enough to marry, and I want you to promise to 
marry me. That is the reason I don't want you to call me 
brother any more." 

" Robert, for mercy's sake, don't talk in that way," cried 
Linda, terrified by this astounding declaration, though she 
could not, would not, believe him in earnest. ^' I won't let 
you speak so to me. It is wicked." 

" Where is the wickedness ?" cried he, vehemently, grow- 
ing bolder now the revelation was made. " Why haven't I a 
right to love you as well as anybody else ? I don't want you 
to marry me now, for we are both too young ; but in two 
years from this time, I declare to you, Linda Walton, by the 
heaven above and the earth beneath, that you shall be the 
wife of Robert Graham.'^ 

"Let go my bridle, sir,'^ cried Linda, frightened, indig- 
nant, and bewildered at this strange scene. " I'll tell my 
father, and you will not dare to talk to me in that way any 
more." 

" Your father and my mother know it already. That is, 
they are anxious that we should be married in a few years. 
And as I shall not see you for a long time after this, I was 
determined I would not let you go without telling you how 



102 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

mucli I loved you, for I do love you, Linda, better than any 
brother could love, for all I used to treat you so shamefully/' 

Her father wished it — Mrs. Walton too ! Linda felt as if 
in the coils of a serpent, whose folds must tighten round her. 
If Mrs. Walton willed it, her doom was sealed. Too young, 
too innocent, too child-like to think of marriage with any one — 
the idea of it, associated with Eobert, filled her with horror. 
She was beginning to like him as a brother ; now she could 
not help hating him. She could not bear to be with him 
alone in the woods. She made her horse go faster, till at last 
she urged it into a furious gallop. 

'' Linda, Linda, you will be thrown off, if you ride so furi- 
ously,^' exclaimed Robert, again trying to catch hold of the 
bridle. But Linda flew on, without looking on the right, or 
on the left. She wanted to be at home, in her own room, far 
away from Robert's terrible black eyes. 

" What a race you two are running," said Mr. Walton, as 
they came galloping into the yard, and the animals, flecked 
with foam, stood panting and cjuivering under the trees. 
^' This is not safe, Robert ; you must take better care of Linda 
than this." 

^' I tried to restrain her, but she would not let me," replied 
Kobert, stooping down, as if to examine the girth. 

^' Take me down, quick, father ; I am very dizzy," cried 
Linda, impatiently ; but before her father could reach her, she 
tossed the reins and sprang from the saddle ; then running up 
stairs, closed the door, threw herself on the bed, and burst 
into a passionate fit of weeping. All her happiness was fled ; 
her holiday enjoyments at an end; the sweet confidence of 
childhood gone for ever. She knew something of the spirits 
with which she had to deal. The imbecility of her father, the 
des]3otism of Mrs. Walton, the bold reckless determination of 
Robert : she knew them all. Every feeling in her heart rose 
in rebellion against the idea of such a union. It seemed 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 103 

more than unnatural — sacrilegious in her eyes. She had been 
so long, accustomed to look upon Robert in the relation of a 
brother, she shrunk as much from any other tie as if she were 
really bound to him by the ties of consanguinity. 

Oh ! that Mrs. Eeveire were near, that she might fly to 
her for sympathy and counsel. Oh ! that she had never left 
the guardian shades of Rose Bower. 

Linda refused to go to the supper-table, on the plea of a 
violent headache, no false excuse in her case, for her temples 
throbbed and bmmed as violently as poor Luta^s did. when 
the fever began to rage in her veins. 

^^ Won't you have a cup of tea, Linda ?'^ asked Mrs. Wal- 
ton's soft, hissing voice. Linda started. She had not heard 
the opening of the door. How had the serpent glided in ? 

" Well, I will not force you,'' said Mrs. Walton, placing 
the cup on the table, and taking a seat by the bed. Linda 
plunged her head between two pillows, so as to shut out sight 
and sound, but in vain. That thin, peculiar voice could in- 
sinuate itself through any barrier. 

^^ Robert tells me he has frightened you," said the voice. 
" I thought you had more sense than to behave so like a mere 
child. I should think you would be proud and glad to think 
you were going to have such a handsome,' smart, and rich hus- 
band as Robert. I am sure any lady in the land might jump 
at such a chance." 

" I don't want Robert for a husband/' sobbed Linda. " I 
don't want anybody for a husband. Mrs. Reveire always 
said we mustn't think of the boys while we were at school, 
and I have two years to go yet." 

^' Linda, you are not the simpleton you are pretending to 
be," cried Mrs. Walton, pulling the pillows from her face. 
" It is proper you should know our plans, and you have reason 
to feel honoured and happy in the prospect of this projected 
union." 

T 
I 



104 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

'^ But what is tlie reason you are in such a hurry V cried 
iiinda; with sudden animation. " Why can't I wait till I am 
old enough to choose for myself ? What good will it do you 
or father for me to marry Robert ? Tell me, for I want to 
know/' 

" Robert is rich, and you have a large fortune. We wish 
^0 unite them. An all-sufficient reason, and one which you 
will find shall outweigh every other." 

^' Fortune V' repeated Linda, her eyes flashing scornfully 
through her tears. " Let him take my fortune, if that is what 
you want. I wish I were the poorest girl in the south-west, 
if I must be bought and sold like a negro slave. But I never 
will be. I never will enter into your mercenary scheme.'' 

" Miss Linda Walton," said Mrs. Walton, the white heat 
beginning to gleam from her eyes, " you are not to address 
me in that manner. You had better submit at once, or you 
will find to your cost, what it is to resist my authority, or 
oppose my will." 

" I will resist it at any cost," cried Linda, springing from 
the bed, and looking wildly around her. ^^ Where is my fa- 
ther ? Let me go to my father !" continued she, more vehe- 
mently, as Mrs. Walton placed her back against the door, and 
fixed upon her a glance, before which a weaker spirit would 
have quailed in terror. 

^' What good will it do you to go to your father ?" exclaim- 
ed the inflexible step-mother. '^ Has he ever dared to coun- 
termand my decrees? Have you ever seen him do it? 
Have you ever seen any one do it ? No ! nor you never 
will." 

" I dare to do it," cried the child, with an undaunted air, 
" and I will do it. I have submitted to your tyranny long 
enough, you pitiless woman. I've felt the marks of your 
lash on my shoulders. I slept for years in a room you scarcely 
thought good enough for a slave. You sent away from me 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 105 

my faithful old nurse. You ruled nie with a rod of iron, and 
I did not complain. But I will bear no more. I will not be 
trafficked away in this vile manner. If my father does not 
protect me, I will appeal to the laws, and they shall." 

Mrs. Walton started. Was this the sobbing, terrified 
child she had found buried in pillows, and shrinking from 
her sight ? She looked taller, older, standing so resolute and 
fearless before her. The step-mother did not waver in her 
purpose, but she began to think she might push matters too 
far. She had no conception that Linda had such a spirit in 
her bosom yet, after having been under her discipline so 
long. 

" I do not wish my house to be made a scene of uproar and 
confusion,'^ she added. "Let nothing more be said about it 
at present. It will be time enough to make a fuss about it 
two years hence. Remember, there is to be silence on this 
subject now. For the peace of the household, I am even will- 
ing to overlook your rebellious, undutiful, and ungrateful be- 
haviour." 

" Ungrateful !" repeated Linda. " Tell me what gratitude 
I owe you. What motherly tenderness have you ever be- 
itowed upon me ? I wanted to love you, and you would not 
.et me do it. You would not let my father love me. You 
iried to keep everybody from loving me. You made me 
svant to lie down in my mother's grave and die. Am I to be 
grateful for all this V 

" 1 know what gratitude to expect from step-daughters," 
answered Mrs. Walton, with livid lips. " I found you a pas- 
sionate, spoiled, and self-willed child, and I taught you the 
manners of a lady. I took you away from the negroes, and 
made you sit by my own side ; and now, because I want to 
give you my own son, a son of whom any mother in the uni- 
verse might be proud, you look as if you would trample mo 
under your feet, and address me as you would not dare to do 



106 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

a single slave on tlie plantation." Mrs. "Walton glided 
through the door, which she closed as softly as if they had 
been talking about roses. 

^^Yes/' thought Linda, with sudden revulsion of feeling, 
and sinking into a chair ; ^^ I was a passionate and wayward 
child. I did not deserve to be loved. If I had not been 
tyrannized over, I should have been a tyrant myself. I have 
reason to be grateful to her, since she saved me from myself. 
And even now, what violent passions have I displayed ! What 
bitter reproaches have I heaped upon her ! I should not have 
forgotten that she is my father's wife ! Oh ! Mrs. Keveire, 
how would your clear, serene eye have rebuked your pupil, 
had you beheld her a few moments ago." 

Thus Linda communed with her own heart, and became 
wise. While freely condemning herself, she became lenient 
in her judgment of others. It was very true what Mrs. Wal- 
ton had said, that it would be time enough to make a resist- 
ance two years hence. She had promised her that nothing 
more should be said upon the subject at present, and she 
would endeavour to banish it from her remembrance. And 
Robert, too ; how harshly she had treated him, for daring to 
tell her that he loved her better than a brother. She would 
not have used such threatening language, had she been calm 
and gentle as she ought to have been. 

The next morning (every one knows the reviving influence 
of a morning sunshine) Linda came down with pale cheeks 
and a dark shade under her eyes, but with a quiet^ gentle air, 
and endeavoured to appear as if nothing had occurred the 
previous evening. She could not help blushing painfully 
when she met Robert's eye, and it was not strange, for 

"As the bolt bursts on higli 

From the black cloud that bounds it, 
Flashed the soul of that eye 

Thi-ough the long lashes round it." 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 107 

Its hue was tlie blackness of darkness, and its expression 
powerful. 

It is not to Ibe supposed that the extreme agitation of hi/ 
daughter had been unnoticed by Mr. Walton, or that its cause 
was unknown. He imputed it, however, more to surprise 
than repugnance ; and, when his wife told him that it was best 
to say nothing to Linda on the subject at present, he yielded^ 
with his usual pliability, to her stronger will. When Mrs. 
Walton first expressed her determination that Robert and 
Linda should be united at an early age, he was startled by 
the unexpectedness of the suggestion ; but, when she ex- 
plained the worldly policy of the scheme, he acknowledged 
its wisdom. Eobert was no longer a rude, boisterous boy, 
but a handsome and talented youth, and whatever moral de- 
fects he might have, time would correct. Ah ! time does 
wondrous things. It reconciles the beast to the burden — the 
ox to the yoke — even the lordly lion to the bars of his cage. 
It had reconciled Mr. Walton to his domestic bondage. Years 
of vassalage had blunted his finer sensibilities and deadened 
his nicer perceptions. It is true, in the cottage of Mrs. Lee 
he had displayed extreme delicacy in putting his gift in the 
leaves of the family Bible; but his wife was not present. 
When removed from the atmosphere of home, some sparks of 
native manliness would flash forth ; but they were becoming 
fainter and fainter — fewer and farther between. 

Robert's vacation terminated sooner than Linda's, and it 
now drew to a close. Notwithstanding her endeavours to 
treat him as she had always done, there had been coldness 
and constraint between them. Robert had usually passed his 
days in hunting, and his evenings in reading or sullen silence. 
He either resented the strong repugnance she had manifested, 
or was acting under an influence stronger than his own pas- 
sions. It was the last evening of his stay. Linda sat on the 
steps of the piazza. Robert came and stood by the pillar 



108 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

against wliicli she leaned. The stars had come out one "by 
one, till they made as glorious a company as when they sang 
together in the morning of creation, and all the sons of Grod 
shouted for joy; and just in the vista, formed by the dividing 
branches of two lofty trees, the young moon was seen hang- 
ing her silver crescent on the dark-blue sky. 

" Wish, Eobert," said Linda ; " the moon is shining over 
your right shoulder. Wish for a safe and pleasant journey." 

" rd wish for something better than that, or not at all." 

" Then I will wish for you," cried Linda, with a touch of 
her former playfulness. " Oh, kind young moon, watch over 
the traveller, and guard him from all wild beasts, runaway 
negroes, and runaway horses likewise." 

" I did not think you wished me so much good, Linda," 
replied Robert, with animation. ^^Come, let us go where 
those two trees seem trying to catch the moon between theuL. 
It will be a long time before we walk together again." 

He took her hand and led her down the steps. She did 
not like to walk alone with Robert ; neither did she like to 
make him angry, when he was to leave her so soon. Perhaps 
he might die during the two coming years, and for ever dole- 
ful to her heart would be the remembrance of unkindness ex- 
hibited in the parting hour. ^' No," thought she, while her 
hand trembled in the grasp of his ; ^' let him say what he 
will, I will be gentle in return, for who knows what will hap- 
pen before we meet again ?" 

^' I don't wonder you are afraid of me, Linda," said Robert, 
abruptly. ^'When I think what a rough, greedy, selfish, 
young monster I used to be, I am ashamed to look you in the 
face. You remember the whipping the sapient Aristides gave 
me ? I know yaa do ; and do you recollect the pitying shower 
of tears you shed over my disgrace ? I don't know which had 
the greatest effect upon me, the lashes or the tears. Justice 
was administering the punishment, and pity was dropping 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 109 

balm into tlie wounds. I tlioiiglit you from that moment a 
little angel. I had abused and tormented you so shamefully, 
you ought to have laughed at my smarting back.'^ 

" Oh, Robert, how could you think me so vindictive ?" 

" I did not think you so ; but you should have hated me. 
Well, I resolved to be a man instead of a brute. I found out 
that I had a mind and a heart buried in a mass of inert mat- 
ter. It was a great discovery. Since then, I think I have 
changed as much in the inner as the outer man.^^ And Ro- 
bert passed his hand over his long, black locks, shading them 
back from his forehead. 

" Robert thinks himself very handsome,'^ said Linda to 
herself, " and so he is.'' 

'^ "Well, no matter," continued he, "about the past. The 
future — let us speak of that. I am determined to study as 
never youth studied before. I will be fii'st or nothing. I will 
climb to the topmost round of the ladder, and then drag it up 
after me, so that none can follow my footsteps/' 

" How selfish V Linda could not help exclaiming. 

" What if I am selfish V cried he, impetuously. " Every- 
body is selfish, only they have a different way of showing it. 
All this I am resolved to do, and then I shall come back, 
covered with honours, to claim you, Linda, as my own. But, 
if you treat me then as you did the other day in the woods, 
I swear, Fll plunge as low in vice as I have raised myself 
high in knowledge and reputation." 

" Robert, for heaven's sake, don't begin to talk in that way !" 
cried Linda, in a faltering voice. 

" I don't want to frighten you, but I must speak out. I 
promised my mother to keep silence, but I cannot do it longer. 
You can have no conception how I love you, Linda. I don't 
eare for your fortune. I should love you if you were the 
overseer's daughter as well as I do now. Promise me that 
you will think of no one else, love no one else, till we meet 



110 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

again, and I know you will keep your word. I will not go 
away without this promise. You must give it.'^ 

'■^ Do not speak so fiercely, Robert/^ cried Linda, trying to 
draw her hand away from his tightening grasp. " There is no 
need of it. I am very willing to promise to love no one else, 
for I am too young to think of such a thing. Mrs. Eeveire, 
my schoolmates, and books are all I shall have to love. No 
naughty boys are admitted into Eose Bower.^' 

^' Don't laugh, Linda — I can't bear to hear you laugh when 
Fm so terribly in earnest. I have your promise though, and, 
when I go to my chamber, I mean to open one of my veins 
and write it down in blood." 

Poor Linda ! — it was a dark fate that linked her childhood 
to this youth of strong, precocious passions and headstrong 
will. It was a touching sight to see her, in all her childlike 
simplicity, innocence, and purity, shrinking by the side of the 
tall, fiery young man whose eyes flashed like meteors under 
the glimmering stars and the young, pearly moon. Well 
might she tremble for the future, thus early brought into the 
stormy conflict of human passions. "Well might she weep, for 
who was to save her from the destiny that hung so threaten- 
ing over her ? Why did the memory of Eoland Lee give her 
such exquisite pain ? Brave and generous as he was, his arm 
would be stretched in vain to rescue her from the foes of her 
own household. 

Thus Robert and Linda parted. 

Once more in her beloved Eose Bower, she looked upon the 
past as a feverish dream, and the future again brightened with 
hope. Two years glided by, and the dreaded hour of her depart- 
ure arrived, bringing with it the dark host of terrors she had 
so long kept at bay. She was to enjoy, however, a short 
respite. Her friend, Emily Chestney, now the happy wife of 
Edmund Carleton, and a resident of Mobile, had written a press • 
mg invitation to her to make her a visit as soon as her school- 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. Ill 

days were expired. Her father consented tlie more readily, 
as he had business of his own to transact in that city. It is 
unnecessary to describe the sorrow which filled the warm, 
grateful, and affectionate heart of Linda in parting with 
Mrs. Reveire and her young companions. 

"If you should be in distress, or driven to extremity,^' 
said Mrs. Eeveire, to whom Linda had confided all her anxie- 
ties, "remember you have a friend whose arms will be ever 
open to shelter you, whose home to receive you. But remem- 
ber, above all things, my beloved child, that you have a Friend 
in heaven, kinder and more powerful than any earthly one, 
to whom you must look in the hour of trial and dread. ^^ 

Hallowed by the associations of her happiest childhood and 
blooming girlhood — endeared by the memory of ten thou- 
sand acts of kindness and affection — ennobled as the scene of 
her mind's growth and her heart's expansion — ^Eose Bower was 
the_ spot to which, in after years, her thoughts turned, like 
pious pilgrims, to some holy shrine. 



112 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 



CHAPTER X. 

Beautiful is the winding Alabama, with its clear, flowing 
waters and luxuriant shores ! And beautiful did the Belle 
Creole look, as she glided over the foaming current with the 
speed of an eagle and the grace of a swan ! 

It was about sunset, and a long line of golden sheen 
marked the wake of the vessel, now sweeping round a grace- 
ful bend, where the river rolled deep and strong, unobstructed 
by sandbars or rocks, and the young pilot of the Belle Cre- 
ole rested against his wheel for a moment to take in the beauty 
of a scene on which he gazed with ever-renewed delight. 
How beautiful were those high, white bluffs, embroidered 
with rich, green moss-work ; while here and there a silver 
spring, gushing forth, sparkled and rippled and tinkled like 
sweet-sounding bells, or dripping slowly over a smoother sur- 
face, whispered of coolness and freshness to the passer-by. 
What rich, mingling shades of verdure crowned those hoary 
cliffs ! The holly, with its deep, perennial green ; the mag- 
nolia, with its broad, magnificent, shining leaves; the tall, 
stately pines, those warriors of the woods, with their dark, 
unbending tuft-knots ; and, ever and anon, the long, gray 
moss sweeping its funeral garlands over the living green — all 
seemed hurrying along with spirit-like velocity to the music 
of the dashing waves. Sometimes, high up on the shelving 
bank, a large warehouse, with its long, wooden slide reaching 
down to the river's edge, a thoroughfare for the massy cotton 
bales, interrupted the monotony of the scene. Again rich 
fields of cultivated lands, adorned with the milk-white cotton 
balls, rolled like sea-green waves, spotted with foam, far as 
the eye could reach. 



OP THE BELLE CREOLE. 113 

Accustomed, as the young pilot was, to tliis prodigal dis- 
play of Nature's loveliness, he still gazed with enthusiastic 
admiration ; hut another feature soon arrested his attention, 
and it had no power to wander more. 

A gentleman, no longer young, and yet not old, with a very 
young girl hanging on his arm, walked with slow steps the 
hurricane deck. The extreme simplicity and youthfulness of 
the young girl's attire, marked her as one just " let loose from 
school.'^ A white muslin sun-honnet was swinging from her 
arm, a full, white frock, short enough to show the neat, white, 
embroidered pantalette, and sl short, black silk apron, com- 
pleted her dress. She was talking very earnestly to the gen- 
tleman, whose head was bent towards her, and her head was 
slightly raised. Why did the pilot start, and the blood 
rush so quick and warm to his sunburnt cheek ? Ah ! was not 
that the same sweet vision which had once beamed on his boy- 
ish fancy, and shone a star of memory on his lonely night- 
watches ? Those soft, bright, deep-brown eyes, were they 
not the same which met his waking glance when he swooned 
from the pain of his shattered arm ? That complexion of 
pearly fairness, brightened with the roses of youth — those 
dark-brown ringlets, so carelessly yet gracefully arranged — ^he 
knew, he recollected them all. The figure was taller, rounder, 
and more womanly ; but the face was scarcely changed. The 
heavenly innocence of childhood still rested there. But 
hark ! what does she say ? for the wind bears her voice to 
youi' «ar as she passes along, unconscious of the vicinity of 
one whom her grateful heart has never forgotten. She is not 
accustomed to the structure and machinery of a steamboat, or 
her eyes would have sought the pilot's house for the sake of 
Roland Lee. The green railings which enclose him are above 
her head, and her soul is occupied intensely with the theme 
her father has chosen to converse upon. 

" Do not speak of it, father — do not think of it — 1 never 



114 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

can consent. The more I think of it, the more I shrink from 
the thouo'ht. Tell me not that he is handsome — that he has 

o 

brilliant talents — I know it all. But you do not speak of 
his fierce passions — his fiery temper. Oh ! father, they would 
make me wretched.'' 

^^ You would mould him at your will.'^ 

^' I don't want to mould others to my will/' was the firm 
yet modest reply. ^^ If I ever do marry, it shall he to one who 
can guide and sustain me in my life's journey, one whom I can 
respect as well as love — reverence as well as adore. But, 
father," added she, blushing at her own enthusiasm, ^' I don't 
want to marry for years to come. I want to revel awhile in the 
joy of freedom ; I want to travel to see the world — to play the 
belle a little ; and, more than all, I want to see if I can't 
make my father's home a little happier." 

"A pretty home I shall have, if you refuse to marry Ro- 
bert," uttered Mr. "Walton, in a fretful, desponding tone. 
" Nothing but storms and tempests about my ears the whole 
time. There is no use in talking about it, Linda ; you must 
obey, for Mrs. Walton will be obeyed. She will not change 
her resolution ; and, as for your foolish romance about not 
loving him, when you have lived as long as I have, you will 
know what nonsense that is." 

" Then rather let me die this moment," exclaimed Linda, 
casting her eyes down on the golden wake streaming behind 
them ; ''rather let me find a grave in those waters than live to 
mourn over my young life's vanished dream." 

^' That is the way all young girls talk," said Mr. Walton, 
on whom two more years of intercourse with his eligible mate 
had passed with hardening process ) " but it is nothing but 
talk. I see the propriety of hastening the match, as you 
might 06 running away with some romantic fellow — some 
poor fortune-hunter — who would bring you to poverty and 
disgrace." 



OP THE BELLE CREOLE. 115 

^^ Father, I shall never marry without your consent ; 
neither will I without my oun. I know the limits of a pa- 
rent's authority and a daughter's obedience." 

Linda spoke this with the air of a young princess. Her 
father did not reply; hut cast' upon her a troubled and waver- 
ing glance. 

" I'm sure I wish your happiness, my daughter ) you must 
know that I do." 

" You have always been kind/' she replied, in a softened 
voice, tears gathering into her eyes ; ^^ you have always loved 
me when away from that woman, whom I never could call 
mother. Oh ! that I could see my own dear father once more 
presiding with dignity over his own household; that he would 
dare to be, in thought and deed, a man. 

^^ Father, I am very young, and I have no right to read 
lessons to you; but -you have not been yourself for many 
years. You have sacrificed your own happiness. I know, I 
feel you have ; but, as you expect to meet the soul of my mo- 
ther, at the bar of God, on the great judgment-day, do not 
destroy that of her child." 

She paused, hung her head on her father's shoulder, and 
wept. His dried affections bloomed afresh, under the influ- 
ence of that gentle heart-shower. He clasped her in his 
arms, kissed her fondly again and again, promised she should 
not be forced, if he could help it, (a very necessary reserva- 
tion,) bade her dry her eyes, lest the passengers should sus- 
pect he had been scolding her, and led her tenderly from the 
deck. 

And how felt the young pilot, while listening to this thrill 
ino; conversation? How could he remain still and silent, 
when every word made his heart bound, and his blood burn 
in his veins? At the first glance of recognition, he had 
bowed his head and knelt by the side of the wheel, so that 
the lineaments of his figure could not be discerned. The boat 



116 LINDA; OH; THE YOUNG PILOT 

was gliding along a smooth current, and it needed not his 
guiding hand. At first he blushed at the thought of being a 
listener, but soon the intensity of his interest absorbed every 
other emotion. How he- admired the noble, independent, yet 
womanly spirit of the daughter ! How he scorned, yet pitied 
the pusillanimous mind of the father ! How roused were his 
passions by the idea of the handsome, brilliant, fierce and fiery 
Kobert! 

Romantic fellow ^ and low fortiine-liimter! These expres- 
sions grated harshly on his ear. He might be iho. first — ^but 
the last never. He felt the distance that separated him from 
the rich heiress, and his proud heart recoiled from the thought 
of ever presuming on the condescension shown him when a 
boy. 

^^ She spoke kindly — she sympathized with my boyish en- 
thusiasm,^' repeated he to himself; ^^ but she was a child then, 
and we were alone on the hills. And now, what is she? A 
proud, beautiful, high-spirited heiress — and I — a proud, poor, 
high-spirited young man. Ah ! there is a great gulf between 
the rich and poor ! but I leaped it once, in my boyhood; and 
should danger again threaten, I'd vault over the abyss, at the 
peril of a thousand lives, to stand one moment by her side, 
on common ground. This bold step-brother ! she resists him 
now, but will she always stem the current setting so strongly 
against her?" 

Thus wildly ran the thoughts of the young pilot, as, with 
unerring eye and skilful hand, he directed the graceful mo- 
tions of the Belle Creole. 

Linda, who had always associated the idea of Roland with 
rivers and boats, could not help indulging the hope of meet- 
ing him on the element he loved. She wanted to inquire if 
there was one who bore his name on board, but an unaccounta- 
ble diffidence prevented her. ^^If he were here," thought 
she, ^^ he would see our name on the register, and if he has 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 117 

forgotten us, I would not wish to intrude myself on his re- 
membrance/' 

The rich, golden clouds that lingered round the setting sun 
gradually lost their glory, and, assuming that form so expres- 
sively called thunder-pillars, leaned gloomily over the river. 
The moon, rising above their darkened summits, looked down 
on her celestial face mirrored in the water ; and as the clouda 
gathered round her, darting the lightning from their bosoms, 
the more heavenly became her smile, the brighter her ra- 
diance. 

Linda, delighting in the ' sublime as well as the beautiful, 
went out on deck, and stood gazing on the scene in a trans- 
port of youthful enthusiasm. She heard the thunder mutter- 
ing in the distance, and she was glad — it seemed such fitting 
music for the gallant boat to march by on its foaming way. 
She stood, with the breeze rustling through her ringlets and 
cooling her brow, wondering how the ladies could be so stupid 
as to think of sleep, instead of coming abroad, like her, to feel 
themselves a part of nature's wonderousness. She wanted 
some one near, to whom she could exclaim — " How beautiful 
— how grand !" whose eye would follow hers, as it watched 
the lightning's path or the moonbeam's track, whose ear 
would listen with hers to "the thunder-drum of heaven,'' and 
the dashing music of the waters. She heard a step walking 
to and fro in the gentleman's cabin, which she recognised as 
her father's. "I have not bidden him good-night," said she. 
"'I will go and bring him here, and make him admire, whether 
he will or no." 

Mr. Walton heard the soft, low voice that called him from 
the door, and obeyed the summons. The interview he had 
had with his daughter had roused his best, kindest feelings; 
and though he was beginning to feel rather sleepy, he lingered 
some time by her side, listening to her animated expressions 
of admiration and delight. 



118 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

^^Do you think there is any danger of the boiler's burst- 
ing T' asked sko; as tke steam rushed violently from its pent- 
house. 

"No, no, child — ^what makes you think of such a thing?" 

" I have heard that electricity has caused such accidents ; 
and I have been told, too, there is a large quantity of powder 
on board." 

"That may be; but there is no cause for apprehension. 
This is a fine new boat, and the captain never sleeps when 
there is the least shadow of danger. You had better retire 
now, for you may take cold from too long exposure to this 
breeze." 

"Well, good-night, father ;" and passing her arm closely 
round his neck, she whispered, "Forgive me, if I have said 
any thing to wound your feelings to-night. Indeed, I did not 
mean it." 

"Bless thee, darling," answered he, pressing her in his 
arms, in a long, affectionate embrace ; " I have more need to 
ask forgiveness of thee." 

Surely, some pitying angel had directed Linda's heart to 
seek this last touching manifestation of a father's love. 

Without changing her apparel or extinguishing her lamp, 
she lay down in her state-room; for, notwithstanding her fa- 
ther's assertion, she could not dismiss all her misgivings, and 
resolved, if any accident did occur, it should find her prepared. 
Too much excited to sleep, she lay and listened to the deep, 
sullen, monotonous, plunging sound of the engine, falling so 
regularly and heavily on the ear. And when the mighty 
steam spirit, imprisoned in those iron tubes, sent out its strong 
breath in startling sighs, as if labouring for deliverance, she 
could not help trembling at the thought of the terrific power 
man had made subservient to his will, well knowing if the 
giant vassal once gained the mastery, ruin and death would 
ensue. Gradually, however, slumber settled on her eyelids, 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 119 

and she wandered in tlie fairy land of dreams; while the 
storm, which had been gathering, exhausted itself in rain, and 
the wind rocked the boat like a cradle, inducing deeper sleep. 

But hark ! — What sudden, deafening, rending thunder-peal 
bursts on the ear ? Springing from her couch, Linda gazed 
wildly round her. Hark ! again ! — What shrieks of agony, 
what wails of despair ; what hoarse, desperate cries mingle in 
dreadful chorus ! The floor quakes and reels and heaves ! A 
hot, suffocating, intolerable vapour fills the air. 

" Grod of mercy,^^ she cried — ^^ we are lost. Oh, my father 
■ — come to me — save me/^ 

With a piercing shriek, she was rushing to the cabin door, 
but the shelving boards seemed to give way under her feet. 
She staggered and would have fallen, but a strong arm was 
thrown suddenly round her, and she was borne irresistibly to 
the very edge of the boat, whose shattered railing lay in splin- 
ters in their path. 

^^Oh ! whither are you bearing me?'' she cried, struggling 
and recoiling from the fearful brink. ^^Let me go and perish 
with my father. Let me go," she shrieked again. " I will 
not leave him here to die.'' 

"You cannot save him," uttered a deep voice in her ear. 
" You will destroy yourself. The boiler is burst. The boat 
is lost. Fear not — struggle not — I will preserve you, or perish 
with you. Haste, or another explosion still more terrible will 
shiver us to atoms." 

Even in that moment of indescribable horror, Linda recog- 
nised the tones of a voice which once before had breathed of 
deliverance, and death seemed robbed of half its terrors. 
With one wild glance at the dark waters rolling below, rolling 
in inky blackness, in contrast with the lurid glare of the 
flames bursting above — one supplicating look to heaven, and 
yielding to the motion of the arm that held her with a stili 
tightening grasp, she felt herself rushing downward with diz' 
8 



120 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

zying velocity, then plunging into the cold waves, where many 
a scorched and blackened corpse was already floating. She 
did not lose all consciousness, though, without any volition of 
her own, she was borne above the stream. Her head sunk 
powerless on the shoulder of her preserver, whose voice still 
murmured in her ear, " Fear not — I will save you. Fear not — 
trust in me." Wails, shrieks, and groans were behind her, 
the mournful gurgling of the waters all round her, darkness 
and death before her, yet that low voice, whispering of safety 
and trust, sustained her sinking soul. They have reached the 
bank, a steep, shelving spot, where the gnarled roots and 
tangled boughs prevented a higher ascent. The water still 
splashed round her knees, but her feet pressed the earth. She 
had escaped the terrors of the drowning — she had escaped — 
but her father — where was he ? " Father, father V she cried, 
stretching out her arms towards the boat, to whose smoking 
timbers human forms were clinging and writhing in the throes 
of mortal agony. At that moment, a disfigured and blackened 
face — a pair of quivering arms, rose above the surface of the 
river, then sunk again with a sullen plunge. Then came 
another tremendous explosion, louder than the loudest thun- 
der, and the Belle Creole was wrapped, from prow to helm, in 
one sheet of rolling flame. But Linda heard not the thunder- 
ing peal — she saw not the sheeted flames. Those withering 
features, those shivering arms, rising above the water at her 
agonized appeal, changed and distorted as they were, she re- 
cognised them as her father's. With a deep groan, she fell 
back in the arms of her deliverer, and death seemed stamped 
on her motionless form. 

Roland looked round him in despair. Must she die under 
these accumulating horrors, after escaping a burning and a 
drowning death ? Those who were saved in the yawl had 
reached the opposite shore, and he appeared alone in the midst 
of desolation. White and still as marble, she looked in the mag- 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 121 

nificent blaze of that awful conflagration. The moon rose, too 
above the sinking cloudsj and, through the wreathing smoke, 
mingled its pale splendours with the crimson glare, and cast 
an unearthly reflection on her pallid features. 

" Oh, my Grod/^ ejaculated the young man, kneeling on one 
knee, his nerveless arms scarcely able to sustain her. ^' Thou 
who hast protected thus far, leave her not to perish.^' 

Frantic at her protracted insensibility, he chafed her ic-y 
hands in his, laid his cheek to her cold cheeks, and pressed 
his lips, warm with the breath of life, to her chill and motion- 
less ones. 

'' Linda, Linda,^^ he cried, and though no answer came, he 
still continued his passionate adjuration, while scalding tears 
gushed from his eyes, and mingled with the cold drops that 
oozed from her dripping hair. At length a shudder passed 
through her frame — she opened her eyes, with a look of wild 
alarm, but as they rested long and earnestly on the face bend- 
ing over her, they softened into an expression of confiding 
tenderness, and a faint smile passed over her lips. Then, as 
if awakening to some horrible recollection, she started and 
turned towards the water. 

" Did you not see him V' she cried ; ^' I saw him — I knew 
him, all terrible as he looked.'^ Covering her face with her 
hands, she burst into an agony of tears and leaned again on 
the shoulder of him who seemed now her last earthly friend. 

How came he there, like an angel of deliverance, once more 

rushing between her and terrible death ? The same arm that 

had checked the foaming steed 

" Had buffeted tlie billows for ber rescue, 
And redeem'd ber life, witb balf the loss of bis." 

Heaven, by a mysterious agency, seemed to have united 
them in such awful scenes, that the artificial barriers fortune 
had raised between them might be shaken down and d^ 
stroyed. 



122 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

But wliat was to become of them, tlius separated from their 
companions; in a place where it was impossible for them to 
scale the bank; the air toO; becoming hot and oppressive from 
the vicinity of the burning boat ? 

Koland rose, still supporting Linda; who now tried to rally 
her bewildered faculties and gird herself with fortitude to 
meet the difficulties that might still be before her. His clear 
and loud holloO; again and again repeated; went across the 
river; and was answered from the opposite shore. A dark ob- 
ject began to float in the distance; and soon the sound of dip- 
ping oars was heard. 

" How many were saved V cried Roland; as the little vessel 
approached within speaking distance of the spot where they 
stood. 

" Eigat in the yawl;'' was the answer ; " three womeU; one 
child; and four meU; including myself. How many have been 
drifted ashore I cannot tell; — an awful wreck;" exclaimed the 
mau; looking with horror on the charring and smouldering 
remains of the gallant boat. 

With a sickening sensation Linda felt herself borne again on 
the current; which had so nearly proved her grave. And was 
it not her father's grave over which she was floating ? She 
closed her eyeS; lest some horrible apparition should glare at 
her from the water; and felt a calmness settling on her feel- 
ings as the measured cadence of the oarS; and the gurgling 
that followed every splashing sound; fell on her ear. She was 
roused by the sudden reeling of the boat; and a loud exclama- 
tion from Roland. A wretched; piteous-looking figure was 
clinging to the side of the vessel; which he had clutched with 
the grasp of despair; uttering the most heart-rending moans 
and incoherent cries. 

" Bear down on the opposite sidC;" cried Roland to the man 
who guided the boat; and bending forward he seized the drown 
jng wretch by the arms and dragged him into the vessel. Linda 



OP THE BELLE CREOLE. 123 

gazed, in the wild hope that it might be her father, though she 
was sure she had seen him sink in the agonies of death. 
What would she have given for the power to relieve the suffer- 
ings of the poor creature thus saved from present death, pro- 
bably only to linger in protracted anguish ! It was dreadful 
to see him hold up his lacerated and bleeding hands, and feel 
that there was no balm to drop into the wounds. To see him 
writhing in pangs, that mocked description, and yet know there 
was no physician near. 

" Oh, Roland," cried Linda, " you have saved me from a 
doom like this. A second time I owe my life to you, — to 
Heaven and you," she added, looking upward with a realization 
of God's omnipotent and omnipresent glory, such as she had 
never felt before. She remembered the words of the psalmist : 
" All thy waves and billows have gone over me." She re- 
membered too, that he had said, " In the night his song shall 
be with me, and my prayer to the God of my life." 

Let us not linger too long on this sad page of our young 
heroine's history. A boat bound for Mobile received the 
sufferers about the morning's dawn. The hours spent on 
that desolate shore, far from any human habitation, with 
drenched garments, shivering limbs, and aching hearts, (for 
almost all that remained had lost some friend in the wreck,) 
were not soon forgotten by the survivors of the Belle Creole. 



124 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 



CHAPTER XI. 

About four weeks after the terrible catastrophe described 
in the last chapter, Linda sat bj the side of Emily in the 
family sitting-room. The fright, anguish, and long exposure 
of that dreadful night had caused a nervous illness, from 
which she had but just recovered, and it was the first time 
that, dismissing the character of an invalid, she was permit- 
ted to leave her own apartment. In the meantime, through 
the considerate kindness of Emily, her wardrobe, which had 
been destroyed in the wreck, had been entirely renewed, and 
those mourning garments prepared, appropriate to her orphan 
condition. With cheeks pale from sorrow and indisposition, 
looking still fairer and more colourless, in contrast with her 
sable dress, and eyes darkened with deeper meanings^ Linda 
was not the same bright and rosy being who had walked the 
hurricane deck of the Belle Creole. The loss of her father, 
under any circumstances, would have been long and deeply 
felt; for, notwithstanding the weakness of his character, he 
was a fond and doting parent, and all the love she would have 
lavished on her mother, had she been spared, flowed into the 
only natural channel open to receive it. But the horrible cir- 
cumstances of his death, added to her chilling sense of bereave- 
ment, sometimes almost drove her to frenzy. The recollection 
of his convulsed and agonized features rising above the gur- 
gling waters, then plunging never to rise again, haunted her 
by day and pursued her even in her dreams. Feelings of 
self-reproach, morbidly indulged, increased her melancholy. 
'-'■ I dared to upbraid him," she would exclaim ; '^ that very 
night even I arraigned him as I would have done a criminal 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 125 

before tlie bar of justice, and yet he forgave me. Tlie last 
words that fell from his lips asked forgiveness of meJ' 

Emily encouraged her to speak of her sorrow, for she 
knew that it is silent grief that dries up the heart ; but, 
when she found her dwelling too long on the saddening theme, 
she would change the subject to the heroism of Roland Ler. 
Then Linda's tearful eyes would beam with grateful emotion, 
and she would repeat again and again the story of her rescue, 
and the more than woman's tenderness with which he had 
guarded and sustained her through all succeeding trials, till 
she was encircled in the arms of her friend. 

" You say he has called every day to incjuire of my wel- 
fare,'' said Linda, the colour dawning on her pale cheek. 
'^ Oh ! he is kind as he is brave ; I owe him a life-long 
debt." 

Emily was now a noble, high-minded young woman, awake 
to the noblest purposes of her being, and happy in the warm, 
pure exercise of her heart's best affections. It has been seen 
that pride was the predominant defect of her character ; and, 
however softened this trait now was, the influence of early 
associations was still felt. She admired the bravery of Ro- 
land ; she respected his virtues ; but she was too aristocratic 
not to remember that his rank in life was not equal to her 
own. Judging Linda by herself, she never dreamed that the 
young pilot could awaken any other emotion than gratitude 
in her bosom. 

" You do, indeed, owe him more than words can express," 
answered Emily, " and it must be an unspeakable gratification 
to you that you have it in your power to repay, though you 
must ever be grateful for the obligation." 

^' Repay !" cried Linda, her cheek glowing with a still 
brighter hue. ^^ What do you mean, Emily ?" 

^'That you have a splendid fortune, and, as he is poor and 
in a lowly condition, you will be able to assist his advance- 



126 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

ment in life, and remunerate him in a manner that you could 
not do if he were in a higher station." 

^' And do you think I could offer money to Roland Lee, as 
a compensation for my life twice preserved from the most hor- 
rible of deaths ?" exclaimed Linda, her bosom swelling at the 
thought of so poor a return to one of his magnanimous and 
lofty character. " Could I insult his delicacy — his pride — 
by such an offer ? Oh ! Emily, you do not know him, or you 
would never have suggested such a thing." 

" Then you must pardon me a crime committed in igno- 
rance," a slight suffusion passing over the marble of her face. 
'' I have never seen him ; for, whenever he has called, I have 
been in your chamber, and, though Mr. Carleton has spoken 
of him in the most enthusiastic terms, you know gentlemen 
do not attach so much value to refinement of manners as we do. 
1 have no doubt he has great and noble qualities. Indeed, I 
know he has ; but, educated, as he has been, and associated 
with a lower class of society, I cannot conceive of his pos- 
sessing that sensitive delicacy which would shrink from the 
offer I suofD-ested." 

CO 

'^ Roland's education has been very different from what you 
imagine," said Linda, in a more subdued tone. " His father 
was once in affluent circumstances, and, in his early years, I 
doubt not he was as carefully attended as your father's sons. 
His mother is one of the most perfect ladies I ever saw. Gen- 
tle, dignified, and self-possessed, her society alone would be 
suflBicient to polish the rudest nature, and, when you have seen 
Roland, I think you will acknowledge that he could not natu- 
rally have been rough or unrefined." 

"Is he handsome?" asked Emily, with a true woman's 
curiosity. 

" I scarcely know whether he would be thought handsome 
or not," replied Linda. "You must recollect that I havo 
Rcen him only as a guardian angel, and I cannot be an impar- 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 127 

tial juclge. There was one moment" — here covering her face 
with her hands, as if some dark remembrance impeded her 
utterance, she remained silent a little while, then continued — 
"awakening from a death-like swoon, I beheld him looking 
down upon me by the light of the blazing boat and the strug- 
gling moonbeams. No, I cannot describe my emotions ; but, 
should you ever know what it is to feel the weight of desola- 
lion that then pressed on my heart, and meet the glance of 
kindness, pity, and protection, that then beamed on me, you 
would not wonder at my gratitude." 

"I do not wonder," said Emily; "it is a beautiful senti- 
ment, and, in a heart as warm as yours, I know what its depth 
and strength must be. I only wish," continued the aristo- 
cratic Emily, " that he was a real gentleman, then you could 
marry him, and that would be a glorious way of cancelling 
the debt." 

" It is of too sacred and solemn nature to be spoken of so 
lightly," replied Linda, too deeply wounded to speak with 
calmness. " I did not think that you, Emily, would thus have 
trifled with it ; and, as to your interpretation of the word gen- 
tleman, though we have studied at the same school, and you 
are older, and ought to be wiser, than I, I trust I can define 
it more truly and more worthily." 

" Forgive me," cried Emily, kissing Linda's now averted 
cheek ; " you soar above me, as you ever did, and make me 
feel ashamed of my own inferiority. I wish I could overcome 
my foolish pride, and feel there were no real distinctions but 
those of virtue and talent. But early impressions are almost 
indelible. Of one thing, however, let me assure you: I 
have not spoken in wantonness, or with any intention of 
sporting with your feelings. Say that you believe me, 
Linda." 

A silent embrace was a stronger assurance than words. 
Emily looked upon her young companion with increasing in- 



128 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

terest and admiration. There was sometliing in the dignity 
of her sentiments that rebuked her worldly wisdom, and 
threw over her the softening shadow of humility. It was a 
favourable moment for the introduction of the young pilot, 
and it was well he came. 

^^I am constrained to call this man a gentleman," said 
Emily to herself, as she gazed with earnest scrutiny on his 
entering figure. Clad in the plain, but elegant dress of an* 
American citizen, he might have walked by the side of the 
proudest aristocrat of the land without being distinguished as 
one of lowlier station. Instead of veiling his worth under 
the shade of di£G.dence, as if conscious he was in the presence 
of his superiors, he had an air of even stately self-reliance — a 
firm and manly bearing that spoke of indwelling power. His 
manner, at first, even gave an impression of haughtiness ; but 
this was soon removed by the expression of his frank, ingenu- 
ous countenance, and the smile of even boyish sweetness that 
occasionally played round his lips. The woman who looked 
on the face and form of Roland Lee would feel secure of a 
sympathizer in joy and sorrow, a protector in the hour of 
danger, and an avenger in that of wrong. His voice, too, had 
a deep and mellow tone — that greatest of all charms to a 
refined and cultivated ear. 

Emily no longer wondered at the enthusiasm of Linda in 
defending her preserver, and claiming for him the respect due 
to a gentleman. She acknowledged herself, that she would 
no more dare to ofi'er money as a reward, to such a man, than 
to a prince of the royal blood. She watched with intense in- 
terest the countenances of both when they greeted each other. 
It was not strange that Linda's hand should tremble, and her 
cheek change from red to pale, from pale to red ; or that Roland 
should address her in an agitated voice, considering the awful 
circumstances in which they had last met ; but Emily's early 
initiation in the mysteries of the heart had made her skilful in 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 129 

interpreting its hieroglyphics, and she began to tremble for 
the future happiness of her friend. She knew the persecution 
she had endured from her step-mother and her fiery son, and 
she saw in perspective many dark and stormy scenes. 

Roland, as he sat by the side of Linda, in that elegant and 
fashionably furnished apartment, with the large dark eyes of 
Mrs. Carleton fixed in unconscious earnestness upon him, 
would gladly have exchanged the security and constraint of 
bis present situation for the thrilling, maddening scenes, in 
which he had last met her. He thought of her clinging to 
his side in the whelming waters, clasped in his arms on the 
lonely bank, leaning on his shoulder in the floating bark, and 
abandoned in all the confidingness of innocence to his protecting 
tenderness, during the remainder of that dreadful night. He 
recalled her image, as she lay in her dripping garments, with 
wet, disordered tresses, and cheeks of alabaster whiteness, so 
near his throbbing heart, and sighed to think it would be now 
deemed an act of presumption to take her hand in his, save 
when extended- in courtesy, at the moment of greeting. He 
did not know that his soul had passed into his eyes, or that 
the dark eyes still turned towards him were reading its vivid 
characters. 

But Roland did not long sit in this abstracted mood. He 
roused himself and entered into conversation with an ease and 
address, which convinced Emily of the truth of Linda's re- 
marks with regard to his early education. She inquired for 
his mother, and learned that she resided with a widowed sister 
on a small plantation, situated on the bay, where he had fre- 
quent opportunities of visiting her, during his floating life. 
Linda told him of their visit to his deserted cottage ; of the 
long and melancholy grass growing over the paths, the rank 
and trailing vines, the ramble on the silver creek, and the 
sight of the bark canoe. 

^^ Ah ! that bark canoe," exclaimed Roland, kindling at 



130 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

llie reminiscences of his boyhood, " how I love it, the cradle 
of my boyish fancy ! If all the dreams indulged in that rude 
vessel are ever realized/' continued he, laughing, '' I mean to 
have it placed over me as a monument, when I am dead, with 
an effigy of myself placed within, holding in its hand the story 
of Robinson Crusoe/' 

^' Was it the perusal of Robinson Crusoe that first inspired 
you with a passion for the water V asked Linda. 

^^Yes. Never shall I forget the enthusiasm excited in my 
mind/ by the history of that island king. But a work which 
made a still deeper impression was an account of a mutiny on 
board the ship Bounty, or Pandora, I do not recollect which, 
for the events, not the names, are stamped on my memory. 
• There was a British captain belonging to that ship, who, 
forced by the mutineers into a small boat with about sixteen 
men, was left to drift out on the immense ocean to perish with 
his starving crew. But with dauntless energy he guided that 
frail boat over the waves of the Pacific, from the islands of the 
South Sea to the northern shores of Australia ; not only rul- 
ing the billows of the ocean, but the stormier spirits of those 
wild and famishing men. There was a moral sublimity in 
that man's character, of which I never could think without a 
burst of admiration." 

^' I loved those pure, truth-telling islanders," said Linda, 
roused from her melancholy by the ardour of Roland's manner; 
"that lovely colony established by the repentant mutineers in 
beautiful Otaheite. Its description' reminded me of the gar- 
den of Eden, and I could not help wishing, while reading it, 
to fly away from the world, and dwell with those simple, good 
beings, in that sweet wilderness." 

These remarks produced an animated discussion, in which 
Emily and Mr. Carleton joined, on the comparative enjoy- 
ments of a civilized and savage life, and the merits of the two 
rival elements, earth and water. 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 131 

'' I sliould think/' said Emily, turning to Eoland, ^^ tliat 
your enthusiasm must have received an effectual check by the 
fatal accident which occurred to the Belle Creole/' 

" Not in the least/' replied Roland. ^^ I love to contend 
with danger ; and difficulties only give new ardour to a pur- 
suit. Through life we are liable to accidents and death, but 
where are they accompanied with such indescribable pomp and 
sublimity as when fire and water seem contending for mastery, 
and battling in their might ?" 

Linda shuddered, and Roland dismissed the theme. 

Thus evening after evening passed away, and Linda almost 
forgot that she had a step-mother, whose summons might re- 
call her to a home from which her father's death seemed for 
ever to have severed her. Mr. Carleton, at Linda's request, 
had written to Mrs. Walton, giving her an account of the 
death of her husband, the rescue of Linda, and of her wish to 
remain for the present with her friend. She was waiting with 
anxiety the answer to this letter, though determined to resist 
any command for her return, assured that nothing but perse- 
cution and trial awaited her at Pine Glrove, when a messenger 
arrived, who, though not altogether unexpected, was not the 
less dreaded. 

How peaceful and pleasant every thing looked in that charm- 
ing apartment ! The elegant taste of a young and affianced 
bride had fitted and adorned it just sufficient for a domestic 
retreat, without overloading it with those costly ornaments 
proper only for a magnificent saloon. Books, music, painting, 
Mr. Carleton loved them all, and so did Emily. But better 
than books, music, or painting, he loved a game of chess j and 
to please her husband, Emily had become a deep student at 
the game, so that she might engage as his opponent, when no 
more powerful champion entered the list. They sat this night 
at a little table, so intent on the movements of the ivory com- 
batants, that they scarcely listened to the sweet notes that 



132 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

were warbling on tlie opposite side of tlie room. Yet once in 
a while, Emilj would look up and smile, while her husband 
was meditating some tremendous move, and cast a glance at 
the pianO; where Linda was seated, with Roland leaning over 
her chair. Linda had a soft, exquisitely modulated voice, to 
which Roland sung a deep, mellow second, making the richest 
harmony. He knew nothing of music scientifically ; but he 
could imitate the notes of every bird of the forest, and catch 
the air of any song after having once heard its melody. And 
Linda wanted no better accompaniment than the songster who 
had practised most by the light of the stars, while gliding on 
the bosom of the winding Alabama. It was while Emily was 
looking up, with one of her moonlight smiles, and those two 
voices were mingling in a sweet and prolonged chorus, that 
the door was opened, and Robert G-raham ushered into the 
apartment. Emily started so suddenly that the chess-board 
overturned, and kings, queens, and bishops rolled ingloriously 
on the carpet. Linda rose from the piano, and stood trans- 
fixed, every drop of blood forsaking her cheeks and lips, while 
Roland, who knew, the moment he beheld the tall intruder,, 
that it must be that ^^ handsome, brilliant Robert," whose 
name was branded on his memory, returned his haughty stare 
with a glance equally haughty, and kept his station at Linda's 
side. Robert paused a moment at the threshold, to take in 
all the bearings of the scene he interrupted, and though his 
jealous passions were roused by the proximity of the noble- 
looking young man, whose melodious accents still rung in his 
ears, he dreamed not it was that same plebeian hoy, of whom 
he had so often spoken in scorn and contempt. Mr. Carleton's 
respectful, laconic letter had not entered into particulars, and 
in his hurried mention of facts he had not told the name 
of the preserver of Linda's life. His wife had told him 
enough of the step-mother's character to convince him that it 
would be a matter of no interest to her; therefore Robert was 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 133 

ignorant that Linda owed her preservation a second time to 
Roland Lee. 

Linda's excessive paleness, for her face was now literally 
white as marble, and her deep mourning dress, struck Robert 
with painful interest. He sprang towards her, grasped both 
hands in his, with a force of which he was not aware, and bent 
upon her those eyes of intolerable brightness^ whose beams 
seemed to scorch while they shone. 

'^ You have suffered, Linda,^' said he, in a subdued voice, 
^' I see it. I grieve for it.'^ 

"When she recovered sufficient composure, she introduced 
her friends Mr. and Mrs. Carleton, and then turned to Roland 
Lee. Why did the blood rush back in burning torrents to 
her cheeks, and her lips tremble with agitation, as she passed 
through the same ceremony with these two yoitng men ? Ro- 
bert started ; gave one glance of astonishment, which changed 
into insufferable disdain, while his face became the colour of 
scarlet. 

" I hope Mrs. Carleton will excuse me,^^ said he, with a 
strong effort at self-possession, " for the abrupt manner in 
which I have intruded upon her. But I have not a moment 
to lose, for the boat which brought me returns early in the 
morning, and it would be better that Linda should go on board 
to-night. My* mother cannot consent to her longer stay, and 
I am commissioned to bear her home." 

" I cannot suffer her to leave me," exclaimed Emily ; " she 
is not yet recovered from the effects of her last journey. Mr. 
Carleton wrote and informed your mother that she was to re- 
main with me much longer. I have had no visit yet. She 
has been sick and suffering. Indeed ! Indeed ! I cannot, 
shall not let her go." 

" I am sorry to dispute a lady's will," replied Robert, with 
an imperious bow, " but my mother's claims are paramount, 
and her commands invested with higher authority than yours. 



134 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

The feeblest invalid can travel in safety in a boat, where she 
can enjoy every comfort and luxury the land can furnish, and 
I see no evidence of Miss Walton's claims to that character." 

" No, no," said Mr. Carleton, " it is out of the question. 
Sit down, Mr. Graham, and enjoy the evening with us — the 
morning — days if you like, but I cannot trust her on that river 
BO soon. This visit has been a long-promised one, and it is 
scarcely yet begun. Why, one of my inducements for marry- 
ing was to see the little brown-eyed girl, the pet of Rose 
Bower. Come, Mr. Lee, join your persuasions to ours. You 
have a right to be heard. Linda cannot go without the per- 
mission of her guardian and deliverer." 

" I should like to know what right this gentleman has to 
interfere," cried Robert, measuring Roland with an indignant 
glance, " or wko has constituted him the guardian of Miss 
Linda Walton." 

" Heaven, Robert, who made him my preserver," interrupted 
Linda, before Roland could frame the haughty reply rising to 
his lips. " Had it not been for him, I had shared my father's 
watery grave. His previous claims to gratitude and esteem 
you already know; and I should hope have learned to ap- 
preciate. He is not only my friend, but the friend of those 
whose guest I am, and for their sakes, if not for mine, Robert, 
I expect you will remember what politeness, *if not feeling, 
requires." 

'' Linda, I must speak with you alone," said Robert. ^^ I 
cannot say what I would in the presence of strangers. Mrs. 
Carleton, allow me the privilege of a few moments' private con- 
versation with Miss Walton, in an adjoining room." 

^^No, no," cried Linda, shrinking back with undisguised 
reluctance. "There are no strangers here. You have no- 
thing to say, but what the whole world may hear." 

" I fear I am, indeed, an intruder," said Roland, address- 
ing Linda in a low voice. "You will not depart?" 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 135 

" No," said Linda, in a still lower tone ; ^' I shall see you 
again on the morrow. Roland — go, I entreat you." 

" I should not have lingered thus long,'^ added he, raising 
his voice ; " but I would have it fully understood, this apology 
is addressed alone to you." 

The eyes of the young men met, as Roland passed through 
the door, and mutual defiance spoke in their beams. 

'^ Linda," cried Robert, " there is no time to lose. Lideed, 
you must accompany me. I come as my mother's representa- 
tive and clothed with her authority. Surely, you will not 
continue to resist it." 

"I do," answered Linda, drawing away the hand he had 
seized. " I have a sanction higher than hers, to remain where 
I am. My father gave me his permission, and death has only 
added solemnity to his will." 

Robert walked the room with a resounding tread. Emily 
gazed upon him with mingled admiration and terror. The 
striking beauty of his face and form, and the dark, violent 
passions expressed in his countenance, formed a contrast pain- 
ful to witness. Linda gazed upon him also, with a troubled 
and varying countenance. At length, approaching him, and 
laying her hand gently on his arm, she said, with much emo- 
tion, " Let us go into the other room, Robert ; we have indeed 
much to say to each other, in which our friends cannot be 
interested." 

A ray of brightness illumined his gloomy face, and eagerly 
snatching her hand, he led her into the next apartment. 

^^Now, Robert," she added, ^^sit down by my side, and 
listen to me one moment in calmness. It grieves me, indeed 
it does, to seem ungrateful for the kindness you have mani- 
fested in coming thus far to be my companion homeward. 
But if you could imagine all I have suffered, you would not 

wonder that I shrink from exposing myself to similar dangers, 
9 



136 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

before my nerves have recovered strengtli to sustain them. I 
need the soothing tenderness of Emily — I need her sympathy 
and love. Ask your own heart, Robert, if I should return to 
Pine Grove, where would be the tenderness and sympathy that 
would minister to the wounds of an orphan heart, and chase 
its dark remembrance ?" 

" Linda, fifty thousand Emilys could not lavish upon you 
half the love and tenderness that fills my single heart.'^ 

" Ah, Robert, that would not make up for the want of wo- 
man's sympathy.'^ 

" My mother" — 

" Speak not of your mother," interrupted Linda. ^' She 
never gave me one look of love, one word of tenderness. If, 
when my father lived, who attempted, though often vainly, to 
interpose the shield of parental affection between her despot- 
ism and me, she almost crushed me with its weight, how could 
I resist it now, alone and unprotected ?" 

" Unprotected V exclaimed Robert. ^' Shall not I be your 
protector — ^your husband ? Once mine, a part of myself, she 
will transfer to you half of the love now bestowed on me. It 
is only when you oppose her will, you find her hard and in- 
flexible. You weep, Linda ; you are softening, relenting. 
Come, she waits to welcome you as her daughter, to embrace 
you as the bride of her son.'^ 

" Robert !"— 

" No — ^no — speak not to me in that tone ; I cannot bear it. 
I had rather be crushed at once under the icebergs of the 
Arctic seas, than be addressed in that freezing tone, than meet 
that congealing glance. It drives me mad, Linda. What 
Lave I done to merit this hatred, this contempt? In what 
gift of nature or fortune am I so unfortunate as to be lack- 
ing, that I cannot satisfy your fastidious taste ? I have kept 
my pledge. I have toiled and struggled, and won the meed 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 137 

for which I panted. I have gained name and fame ; and now 
I claim the fulfilment of your promise^ written in my own 
blood; and worn next my heart, ever since we parted,'^ 

^'1 know not what you mean, Robert/' said Linda, trem- 
bling, as he drew forth a paper from his bosom, and held it 
before her eyes. 

" Did you not promise, when we last parted, that you would 
think of no one — love no one, till we met again. Here are 
the characters, traced in the red of my own veins. Have you 
fulfilled your pledge ?" 

The eyes of Robert seemed to burn into Linda's throbbing 
heart. Hers bowed beneath them, and her hand instinc- 
tively grasped the arm of the sofa for support. 

'^ I remember saying something of the kind, to calm your 
excited passions. But, whatever it was, it extended only to 
my residence in Rose Bower. I knew not then of the events 
which the future had in store." 

" By heavens, Linda," exclaimed Robert, starting up and 
standing before her, face to face, "your agitation confirms 
your shame. I would not, could not believe, but now I know 
it all. This Roland Lee, this obscure, low-born pilot, this 
proud, haughty upstart, has dared to come between me and my 
rights; but he had better beware. He had better not cross 
the lion in his path. By Him who made me, sooner than you 
should disgrace yourself by such an alliance, I would carry 
you down into the grave with me, though my own hand dealt 
the death-blow." 

" Cruel, insulting !" cried Linda, rising and fixing upon 
him a glance, where every contending passion seemed strug- 
gling for mastery. "You forget yourself, sir. You know 
not whom you address or whom you accuse. As for myself, 
I care not what you think of me ; but I will vindicate one, 
of whose worth and nobleness you cannot even dream 



138 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

Boland Lee never uttered to me one sentiment warmer than 
esteem, tenderer than pity. He has never presumed on the 
mighty obligations he has imposed upon me ; but even if he 
had, I tell thee, Robert, he is your equal and mine — equal 
did I say — superior ! — and the man lives not who dares repeat 
a second time, the words you have just now uttered to me." 

She approached the door with a rapid step, which Robert, 
withering under her indignation, durst not oppose, but pausing, 
as she laid her hand upon the latch, and looking back with a 
moistened eye, " Robert," she said, ^^ I cannot bear to leave 
you in anger, for you know not what you say. Only learn to 
love me as a brother, and I will be to you the tenderest of 
sisters, the truest of friends. But, as for any other tie bind- 
ing us together, it is in vain to think of it. Such a union 
would be unnatural and unblest. Think of it no more, Robert, 
think of it no more !" 

She opened the door slowly, for Robert, instead of follow- 
ing her, as she had feared, sunk back on the sofa, and covered 
his face with his handkerchief. This attitude of unresisting 
sorrow, so unexpected, so touching in contrast with his late 
fierceness and impetuosity, melted her at once. She could 
not leave him so. She drew near, and taking the hand 
which lay passive by his side, pressed it in both her own. 
^^Oh, Robert, let us not part in anger !" 

Robert lifted the handkerchief from his face, and Linda 
uttered a startling scream. 

^^ Oh, my God ! Robert, what have you done V 

His cheek was as colourless as the linen which was stained 
here and there with streaks of blood. 

Mr. Carleton and Emily rushed in at the sound of Linda's 
cry, and the house was immediately a scene of confusion. A 
physician was summoned, who relieved Linda's agonized ter- 
rors, by assuring them it was only a very slight blood-vessel 



OP THE BELLE CREOLE. 139 

wMch was ruptured — attended with no danger, and that all 
he needed was perfect quietude. 

Linda hovered round him with tender solicitude, feeling as 
if she had just escaped the horror of being a murderer. She 
felt the deeper compassion as he was gentle and docile. The 
stormy passions which had caused the rupture appeared to 
have subsided with the flowing blood. 

^' If he urges me now to accompany him/^ thought Linda 
sadly, " I cannot refuse — I dare not rouse again the fearful 
strife." 

But Robert, though the next morning he insisted on his 
own departure, seemed to have yielded his will to hers. They 
all pleaded, nay insisted, that he should remain ; the physi- 
cian laid his commands on him, but in vain. He was perfectly 
well, he said, though his colourless face belied his words. 

^' I must leave you, Emily," said Linda. " I could resist 
his authority and pride, but his generosity subdues me. I 
cannot let him depart alone. My destiny is darkening and 
closing around me. I shall soon have nothing left but sub- 
mission.^' 

"I will accompany him myself," cried Mr. Carleton, with 
generous eagerness. ^^I am sure I shall be a much more 
efficient nurse than a young lady who always faints at the 
sight of blood. I think, too, I shall be able to give a quietus 
to his mother that will prevent her farther interference." 

Linda could have knelt at his feet and blest him for his 
kindness, and Emily was magnanimous enough to give an as- 
sent to the arrangement, though the horrors of the burning 
boat were still too fresh in her memory not to fill her with 
sad misgivings. "When Robert learned Mr. Carleton's deter- 
mination, he opposed it most strenuously, but the latter main- 
tained his resolution with such gay and good-humoured obsti^ 
nacy, that Robert was constrained to yield. 



140 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

"Forgive me, Robert," cried the weeping Linda, sinking 
into his arms, when the moment of departure came. " For- 
give me all the pain I have caused you, and believe me more 
unhappy than yourself. Continue to be what you now are, and 
when I retm^n you shall find me all a brother's heart can 
wish.'' 

^' I ask but one thing, Linda,'' said Kobert, in a low voice ; 
" I claim nothing for myself^, but return to us free. Promise 
me but this, and I will depart content, if not happy." 

Could Linda refuse a request, urged by lips from which the 
life-blood had so lately flowed? "I promise," she replied, in 
scarcely articulate accents. A quick, passionate embrace, a 
trembling pressure on her pale cheek, and she was left sobbing 
in the arms of Emily. 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 141 



CHAPTER XII. 

About a week after Robertas departiirej Linda sat read- 
ing in the sitting-room alone. Emily had retired early, 
on the plea of a sick headache, and Linda intended soon to 
follow, waiting but to finish a few pages of a work which fas- 
cinated her imagination. The rain was driving against the 
windows in violent gusts, making the casements shiver as it 
fell, and every now and then the wind would swell and rave 
through the trees, and then die away with a sudden, deep sigh, 
as if repenting the rude manner in which it had twisted the 
young branches and scattered their green leaves in the blast. 
Linda looked up from her book and listened to the sobs of the 
stormy gale. It reminded her of Robert, and she sighed at 
the wi'eck his ungoverned passions might cause. It is true 
they had subsided like that raving wind, but they retained all 
their strength, and might burst forth at any moment in the 
whirlwind or the tempest, desolating the moral world. Per- 
haps she thought of another, for her eyes wandered dream- 
ingly over the pages, and the spell of genius no longer held 
her captive. The moaning sound of the wind made her feel 
very sad, and, yielding to the oppression that weighed down 
her spirits, she sufi"ered her arm to fall across the table, her 
cheek to droop lower and lower, till it pressed the open pages 
of her book, and then closed her eyes to keep back the tears 
that gathered heavy on their lids. 

The door opened, but Linda raised not her head. She 
thought it a servant ; for who would come abroad such a night 
as this ? A hand gently laid on her shoulder, and a sad-toned, 
mellow voice, uttering the name of Linda, made her start and 
tremble. 



142 LINDA ; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

" Roland Lee ! what brought you here in such a driving 
storm ? You are pale — jou are agitated : tell me what has 
happened/' 

^' You will think me very weak when you learn it is 
the thought of saying farewell that has shaken my nerves 
thus. It is so much sooner than I anticipated, that" — he 
paused, hut Linda was silent, and he continued, in a hurried 
manner — "I have been appointed pilot of a new boat just 
completed, which is baptized the Evening Star. The captain 
is a noble-hearted man, and a warm, disinterested friend of 
mine. It is to run on the Mississippi — that great river — the 
winding ocean of America. Linda, I ought to rejoice, for I 
cannot afford to be an idle man ; but can I, when I must leave 
you in a few hours, unknowing when or where we shall meet 
again V 

Linda was terrified at the anguish she felt at the thought 
of parting with Roland. It swept over her so suddenly and 
powerfully, it deprived her of utterance or motion. Too much 
agitated himself to comprehend the emotions that chained her 
tongue, he was pained . by her silence, and went on more ra- 
pidly still, as if fearful of a pause in his present excited 
state of mind. 

^' Before I leave you, Linda, as you have allowed me to call 
you by the name dear to my boyhood, let me thank you for 
the condescension you have ever shown to one on whom many 
like yourself would have looked down upon as an inferior. 
How I have blessed your gentleness and kindness, none but 
my God knoweth. I have tried not to be presumptuous ; I 
have endeavoured to remember the difference in our for- 
tunes " 

^^ Talk not of presumption, Roland,'' interrupted Linda, 
with a burst of feeling wholly irrepressible. ^^ Be not so 
unjust to yourself or me. What do I not owe you ? Leave 
me not with such a burden of gratitude weighing upon my 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 143 

heart. Show me some way in which I can prove that I am 
not altogether an ingrate." 

^^ Do not speak of gratitude, Linda ; I cannot bear the 
word/^ 

" Alas ! I am a bankrupt even in words/' she cried, 
looking down, her cheeks covered with a deepening glow. 

There was an expression in Roland's eye she dared not in- 
terpret, yet it quickened every pulsation of her heart. Slowly 
drawing from her finger a glittering ring — " This ring/^ she 
added, " is one of the few links that bind me to the past. 
Almost all my treasures were buried in the wreck ; but this 
was on my finger when you rescued me from a fiery or a 
watery grave, and it may be to you a memento of the life you 
have preserved. '^ 

Her hand trembled as she extended it to Roland, and a mist 
covered her sight. 

^'I cannot take it — I dare not," exclaimed he, dropping 
the hand which for one moment he had imprisoned in his 
passionate grasp. ^^I cannot take it as a pledge of gratitude; 
it would only mock the wild beating of a proud and too aspir- 
ing heart. No, no, Linda, rather let me forget you for ever, 
since your remembrance must henceforth constitute the misery 
as well as the gloiy of my life." 

" Speak to me, Roland, in this moment, perhaps the last 
we shall ever pass together, as if I were the poorest, humblest 
maiden of the land. Forget that I am so unfortunate as to 
be an heiress ; meet me, as I am, your equal, and tell me 
why my remembrance must make your existence wretched." 

Thus addressed, with such pure, earnest, beseeching, yet 
modest eyes raised to his, is it wonderful that Roland forgot all 
the strong resolutions with which he had armed himself, and 
suffered his soul to gush forth in one full, deep stream of 
long-repressed passion ? He did not know that he knelt ; he 
was borne down by the tide of his overpowering emotions ; 



144 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

he knew not wliat words lie uttered — lie only felt that the 
hour was come when he must speak or die. Seldom has man 
felt or woman inspired a worship so single or so pure. His 
spirit was full of enthusiasm — that divine fire which gives 
warmth and soul to every virtue, and purifies the passions 
from the alloy of earth. In boyhood, Nature reigned the 
unrivalled mistress of his soul, and, whether she appeared 
clothed in clouds or sunbeams, on the mountain or in the val- 
ley, he loved her still ; but, when she came gliding through 
the waves, in her mantle of azure fringed with white, with 
the stars on her bosom or the sun on her brow, his love be- 
came adoration. This impassioned worship, Linda, the fail 
young traveller, was the fii'st who ever shared. The image 
of the sweet, little girl, with soft, loving eyes and angelic 
smile, followed him wherever he went, and whispered to him 
of gentle things, when he roamed the forest or floated on the 
stream. Again he met her in the glow and the freshness of 
her girlhood — met her in those thrilling scenes which waken 
to sensibility the coldest heart. What, then, was their eiFect 
on such a heart as Roland's ? We have seen, and Linda now 
felt and knew. 

And she, if she had loved Eoland before, when the glance 
of his eye and the tones of his voice had conveyed to her the 
li(ype that she was beloved, how did she receive this outpouring 
of the heart and soul — this revelation of each bosom-thought 
and wish so long cherished in silence and pride ? The mo- 
ment that woman has an assurance of the love which she 
would barter the universe, were it hers, to obtain, must be the 
happiest of her existence. Linda had reached this crisis of 
her being. Though there was sorrow behind her and dark- 
ness before, she had touched one bright, luminous point — one 
dazzling focus of bliss — where her spirit fainted from the 
excess of joy and light. 

The first word which broke the silence that lingered like a 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 145 

Lc!y spell around thenij was ^^ Robert," uttered by Linda, in 
a startling tone. He seemed to be gliding between them with 
ghost-like solemnity, reminding her of her promise to return 
freCy and threatening her with that wedlock in the grave, to 
which he had doomed her, in preference to a union with Ro- 
land. She saw, in the future, scenes of violence and blood ; 
and, shuddering, she drew back from Roland's arms, while 
the warm roses, whose bloom was deepened by the breath of 
love, faded on her cheek. 

'^ No, no !" she cried, veiling her eyes with her hand, as 
if to shut out the prophetic vision ; ^^ I dare not promise to 
be yours. I have pledged my word to return free. I feared 
to refuse, lest the life-blood should again gush forth. While 
Robert lives, I never can wed another. Hush ! you don't 
know him as I know him. You could not even dream of the 
strength, the frenzy of his passions. He would pursue you 
with unrelenting vengeance to the world's end. A three-fold 
sacrifice would be the awful result. No, Roland, I cannot 
hazard such consequences ; the guilt of murder would be on 
my soul ! I can love you — live for you — die for you, Ro- 
land, but not vjith you." 

In vain Roland talked of bearing her to some sweet spot on 
the banks of the Mississippi, 

"Where the bright eyes of angels only 
Should come around them, to behold 
A paradise so pure and lonely." 

She remembered the prostrate form of Robert, the pallid 
cheek, the blood-stained handkerchief, and she still repeated, 
^' I should be a murderer." But, while she resisted his en- 
treaties, she breathed to him sentiments like these to cheer 
him in the parting hour — 

"Yes, if there be some happier sphere, 
Where fadeless truth, like ours, is dear — 



146 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

If there be any land of rest, 
For those who love, and ne'er forget, — 
Oh, comfort thee — for safe and bless'd 
We'll meet in that calm region yet." 

Roland did not despond. He was young, brave, and hope- 
ful. No dangers daunted, no difficulties impeded his spirit. 
Assured of Linda's love, the future spread out before him a 
boundless firmament, studded with suns, before whose bright- 
ness all clouds melted away. He pitied Robert, but he feared 
him not. Passion, unfed, must waste away and die, even if 
it have the strength of a giant. 

" See, is not that an omen of happiness V exclaimed he, 
pointing to the heavens through the parted curtains. A sin- 
gle, glorious star, pillowed on a bed of azure, was shining be- 
low the dark canopy of clouds that hung gloomily above. 

And long after Roland was gone, Linda sat in the silence 
of night gazing from her window at that one burning star, 
though ten thousand others now glittered in the blue, un- 
clouded heavens, and mingled their silvery effulgence in the 
milky-way. 



OF THE BELIZE CREOLE. 147 



CHAPTER Xm. 

Mr. Carleton returned at tlie expected time, but not alone. 
Emily, in her joy at meeting him after their first separation, 
saw no one but her husband ; but Linda beheld the veiled 
figure that accompanied him, and she recollected when she 
had fii'st seen it descend from her father's carriage, about eight 
years before. A cold shudder ran through her frame, when 
the green veil was lifted, and she beheld again those stony, 
flint-like eyes, that dry, shining, parchment forehead, and 
those pale, shrivelled lips. More horrible and unnatural than 
ever looked the white semi-circles of her brows, in contrast 
with the black dress which she wore in mockery of her widow- 
hood. 

" I thought I would come myself,^^ said the soft voice that 
always made her blood curdle, " since Robert was so unsuc- 
cessful. We cannot be without you any longer at Pine- 
Grove.'^ 

^^How is Robert?'' asked Linda, with real anxiety, con- 
scious she was the cause of his indisposition. 

^^ He is not well," replied his mother. ^^ He looks very 
badly, but with a little of your nursing he will soon be 
better." 

^' For mercy's sake, Edmund," exclaimed Emily, when 
Linda had retired with Mrs. Walton, who wished to change 
her travelling apparel, ^^what made you bring that horrid 
woman with you? Why, she looks like the witch of Endor. 
She has half-petrified me already; and then that gliding ser- 
pent voice, I hear it hissing yet. Poor Linda, how I pity her. 
Oh ! Edmund, how came you to let her come with you ?" 



148 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

'^Because I could not help it/' answered her husband, 
laughing at the unaffected horror of Emily's countenance. ^^I 
knew nothing of her intention, till I saw her trunk and band- 
box at the side of mine, and was told the lady placed herself 
under my protection. I was obliged to make a bow, and sub- 
mit with the best grace possible, though in my heart I wished 
her with Pharaoh's host, at the bottom of the Red Sea. Lin- 
da will be compelled now to return, for that woman has a will 
of iron — nay, more inflexible than iron ; for the metal will 
bend after passing through the furnace, but I cjuestion whether 
the power exists that can fuse the elements of her nature." 

" And Robert, Edmund, what do you think of him ?" 

" Why, I pity him, Emily, from the bottom of my heart. 
Were he left to. himself, I think he would give up a pursuit 
that makes Linda wretched, without advancing his own happi- 
ness. Rut his mother is constantly feeding the worst passions 
of his nature. Heavens ! it is strange, the influence that wo- 
man exercises over her household, yet she never raises her 
voice louder than you have heard it. I think," added he, 
after a pause, " that Robert will win the day, and that Linda 
will yield at last. He is very handsome, and such impassioned 
love might move a heart of stone." 

" You forget Roland Lee." 

'^No; but his pride is greater than his love, and he will 
die without revealing it, from the fear of being thought mer- 
cenary and presumptuous." 

Emily, whose aristocratic prejudices had long since yielded 
to the charm of Roland's manners, told her husband all 
that Linda had confided to her, of the avowed attachment 
subsisting between Roland and herself; and Mr. Carleton 
Bympathized as deeply as his wife in the feelings she de- 
gcribed. 

^^ Poor Linda!" again repeated Emily. ^^ I know not what 
will become of her. I should tremble myself at the idea of her 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 149 

marrying Eoland, for Robert would rim mad and kill himself, 
or her, or him, or all three. Oh, if I could only hope to see 
her one day as happy as I am, her wildest dreams of romance 
could ask no more.'' 

Mr. Carleton smiled tenderly on his wife, and reiterated 
the conjugal wish. The entrance of Linda and her step-mo- 
ther put a stop to their confidential conversation, and Emily 
was forced to play the polite hostess to this unwelcome and 
formidable woman. She looked, if possible, still more disagree- 
able, divested of her bonnet and shawl, for the hard, sharp 
outlines of her features were more distinctly observed. 

^^ You must not think of depriving me of Linda,'' Emily 
ventured to say. '■'■ We planned this visit in Rose Bower, 
and talked of a thousand pleasures we have not yet had an 
opportunity of enjoying." 

^^ She has already been here five weeks." 

^^But she has been sick. I always count sick days as 
blanks." 

" I shall remain a few days to attend to some shopping," 
replied Mrs. Walton : ^^ she must be ready to return with me 
then. I have particular reasons for wishing her at home. I 
was very glad of so favourable an opportunity of travelling 
with your husband." 

^^ Oh ! that I had kept him at home," groaned Emily within 
herself. She cast a dismal glance at Linda, on whose cheek 
a bright red spot was burning, of the same dye as that which 
stained Caesar's brow. 

" I should like the assistance of your taste, Mrs. Carleton," 
continued Mrs. Walton, ^^ if it will not be too much trouble. 
I wish to purchase some dresses for Linda. You can direct 
me to the most fashionable stores." 

" Thanks to Emily's kindness," said Linda, looking sadly 
at her mourning dress ; '■'■ I have an ample supply. You are 
very kind, but indeed it is not necessary." 



150 LINDA; OR, THE *YOUNQ PILOT 

"You need not trouble yourself about it/^ said the imper- 
turbable woman. " I will go out to-morrow morning with Mrs. 
Carleton, and you can do as you please about coming with 
us." 

"Put on your bonnet, Linda/' said Emily, running up 
Btairs, after Mrs. Walton, equipped in her severe-looking 
black bonnet and green veil, entered the room. " Your step- 
mother seems in such an obliging mood, you ought to enjoy 
it with me.'' 

" There's something hidden, I fear, under this seeming kind- 
ness," answered Linda, mournfully. 

" She has the most singular countenance I ever saw," con- 
tinued Emily, putting on her gloves. " I wonder where Ro- 
bert got his beauty. I suspect his father must have been a 
handsome man." 

"I have been told that he was," replied Linda, sighing at 
the remembrance of her own father. 

Mrs. Walton was unusually gracious, and in every store 
where they stopped, she attributed the broad and prolonged 
etare fixed upon her, as a tribute to her dignified and imposing- 
appearance. 

" Have you any handsome white satin ? — any rich blonde 
lace ?" were the startling interrogations that met Linda's ear. 
What could she want with white satin and blonde lace, when 
they were both in deep mourning ? 

" I thought you wished to purchase some dresses for Lin- 
da," remarked Emily, as the lady fixed upon some satin and 
lace, which she declared superior to any she had seen. 

" And so I do," she replied, ordering the required number 
of yards to be measured ofi". 

" Stop, madam," said Linda, shuddering as if she had seen 
directions given for her shroud. " You forget that I am in 
mourning. I cannot wear that dress Indeed, you must not 
get it." 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 151 

'^ You will wear it wten occasion requires/' said her step- 
motlier, turning again to the merchant^ and asking for white 
gloves and shoes. Linda cast a despairing glance at Emily. 
She could not venture upon a scene in that public place. She 
dared not utter the words burning on her lips, but sat like a 
victim, about to be bound to the stake. 

^^ Had you not better wait till she does require them V in- 
terposed Emily. " I shall be happy to make purchases for 
you at any time. Satin and lace both become yellow when 
long laid aside.'' 

" There is no danger of their turning yellow/' said Mrs. 
Walton, continuing the purchase. 

'' Oh, heavens !" exclaimed Linda, starting up, and forget- 
ting in her excitement where she was. " What shall I do ?" 

" The young lady seems ill," said the gentleman behind 
the counter, looking compassionately at the young and beauti- 
ful face, wearing an expression of such intense distress. 

" We can return home now," said Mrs. Walton, directing 
her packages to be put in the carriage. Linda uttered not a 
word during their homeward ride. She went in silence to her 
chamber, where her step-mother followed, and, one by one, put 
the articles she had purchased in her travelling trunk. When 
the last bundle was deposited, and the trunk locked, Mrs. 
Walton rose from her kneeling position, and met the eyes of 
Linda fixed steadfastly upon her. There was something in 
their expression that made her turn her head hastily aside, 
and she pretended to be looking for her handkerchief, on the 
other side of the room. 

^' May I ask for what purpose you have been kind enough 
to purchase those dresses, madam ?" inquired Linda. 

" I should think no explanation was necessary," was the 
cold reply. <' I intend my daughter-in-law shall appear as be- 
comes her property and mine. You know what is customary 
for a bride to wear." 
10 



152 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PnOT 

" Talk not of bridal garments to me/' exclaimed Linda, 
passionately. ^^I would sooner exchange these sad-coloured 
robes for my grave-clotheS; than put on the marriage finery 
you have purchased/' 

^^I had hoped/' replied the step-mother, ^^that haying 
learned by this time the uselessness of opposing my will, you 
were prepared to yield, without such unbecoming violence. 
But, instead of becoming more gentle and easy to be per- 
suaded, you are more rebellious and headstrong than ever. I 
sent my son to bring you home, and you dared to disobey, 
treating him with scorn and contempt. Yes,'' she added, 
grinding her teeth, as if to whet her hidden passion, " you 
have done what no one yet has had the hardihood to do, 
openly and boldly refused obedience to my commands. Poor, 
pitiful thing ! did you expect to do it with impunity ? You 
forgot you had no weak father by you, to uphold you in your 
disobedience and folly, and try, but in vain, to separate you 
from my power." 

" Oh ! my father," cried Linda, clasping her hands wildly 
together, " must I hear your sacred memory thus profaned ? 
Woman, if you had seen him as I saw him, crisped and black- 
ened, quivering in agonies too terrible to think of, the remem- 
brance would haunt you to your dying day. You would not 
dare to insult his name, or heap persecution on his helpless 
daughter. Would to heaven I had perished with him, rather 
than live to be the victim of your tyranny." 

^^ You can talk well, very well. Miss Linda. You learned 
something at school. You took lessons in rhetoric, I believe ; 
but there are some lessons I can teach you better than Madam 
Reveire. We have a long account to settle, and a day of 
reckoning will soon come. You have stolen from me, by your 
vile arts, the affections of my son. I wanted him to marry 
you for your fortune, for I've sworn that shall be his ; but that 
he should be such a fool as to think of loving you in earnest, 



or THE BELLE CREOLE. 153 

I would not have believed it. To liear him talk of his hap- 
piness being blasted for ever, and by you ! — Ungrateful, hai-d- 
hearted creature ; you have destroyed his health, you have en- 
dangered his life. I do not believe you would shed one tear, 
if you saw him dead at your feet." 

Her dry lips began to quiver, and a tear actually moistened 
her glazed and pitiless-looking eyes. There was one vulner- 
able place in her heart. The dew of the cavern had not all 
hardened into stone. 

Linda caught that sign of human sensibility, and hailed it 
as the pilgrim hails the fountain in the burning desert. She 
had a mother's heart, and might be made to feel for her. 
Springing forward, she cast herself on her knees before her, 
and wound her arms round her dark raiments. 

^^ Oh, madam, I do pity Robert. I love him as a brother. 
I would sacrifice my life to restore him to health and happi- 
ness, if either have been lost through me. But I never want- 
ed him to love me with any thing but fraternal affection. 1 
told him so two years ago. I told you the same. Oh ! you 
must remember it. You know I never deceived him. Force 
me not, I pray, force me not into this marriage. It would 
kill us both, for the more he loves me, the more wretched he 
would be. I will go to him, and, if he is sick, I will watch 
hiTn like the fondest, tenderest of sisters, if you will ask no 
more. You shall never have cause to reproach me for rebel- 
lion and pride. I will show you all the respect and obedience 
of a daughter. Every night your name shall go up, mingled 
with blessings to the orphan's God. Nay, you must not leave 
me. You are moved. I see it. You cannot conceal it. You 
will not harden your heart against me. You will be touched 
with compassion for the fatherless, motherless girl, who prays 
you to have pity on her helplessness and youth." 

Thus supplicated Linda, with her white arms, from which 
the sleeves di'ooped back, still wrapped round the widow's^ 



154 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

sable foldS; and lier upturned, glistening eyes, pleading with an 
angel's eloquence. Yes ! the rock was moved. The tear, that 
had trembled for some time on the stony surface, rolled slowly 
and reluctantly, like wintry sleet, down her sallow cheek. 
Still the rock was harder than that smitten by the Jewish 
prophet's wand. A fountain gushed forth at his touch, but 
this sweet suppliant extracted only one tiny drop. 

'■'■ Be kind to Robert,^' said she, holding out her hand to 
Linda, ^^ and you shall find a mother in me." 

This was equivocal consolation, for kindness to Robert, in 
her acceptation of the expression, might embrace a wide mean- 
ing: still Linda felt comforted. 

'^ She can feel ; she is human,'' repeated she to herself: 
^^ she is not made all of granite, and I may yet hope." 

"With the elasticity of youth, her spirit rebounded from the 
pressure of despair, and a gleam of brightness dawned on the 
darkness of the future. Robert had shown some delicacy, and 
his mother one touch of feeling. That night she sat at her 
easement, and sought the star of Roland from all the innu- 
merable host of heaven ; and as its silver-beaming eye re- 
turned her earnest and adoring gaze, that ^^ glorious voice," 
which hath no real sound, whispered to her soul of everlast- 
ing joy, never-ending peace, and undying loYe. 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 155 



CHAPTER XIV. 

The sad parting with her friends, the monotonous passage 
on the river, were over, and Linda was once more wending her 
homeward way, near the shores of the Alabama. Weary and 
abstracted, she leaned back in the carriage, and looked out on 
the gathering shades of twilight till they deepened into night, 
which grew darker and darker as they plunged deeper into 
the pine forest that skirted the road. It is the most melan- 
choly thing in the world to travel through a pine forest at 
night. To look out and see nothing but the tall, dim, stately 
columns, crowned with their dark capitals, stretching on in 
everlasting continuity — others, yet still the same — and hear 
the mournful rustling of the boughs above the head ; it seems 
like passing through some grand, interminable corridor, where 
invisible minstrels are chanting low, dirge-like music, and 
imagination looks beyond the pillared multitude to catch a 
glimpse of the long funeral procession, hastening on to the 
place of graves. There is something melancholy, too, in the 
dull, heavy sound of the wheels sinking in the sandy road — 
the laboured tread of the weary horses — the protracted yawn 
of the drowsy driver. 

" Wish we didn't have to go this roundabout way home," 
muttered Tom, trailing his long whip in the sand. ^' 'Twould 
be a mighty short distance from the boat, if one could go 
straight across. I always did despise this road. 'Taint fife 
for a nigger to drive, any way you can fix it." 

"Tom,'' said Mrs. Walton, "you had better drive faster; 
we shall not reach home before midnight, at this rate." 

" I tell you, missus," replied Tom, " one of these horses is 
ailing. T'other one keep pull, pull, and he sneak all the 



156 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

time behind. We got a mighty bad bill to go up, too, 'fore we 
eee borne." 

" Let us get out and walk," said Linda, and Mrs. Walton, 
fearing for ber sick borse, approved tbe proposition. 

Even Linda's ligbt footsteps were clogged by tbe sand, now 
heavy with tbe dews of night, and they dragged wearily along. 
She wished there was a moon, that friend of tbe traveller, to 
cheer them on the way, for nothing could be more dreary than 
tbe sound of the whippoorwill's voice wailing on the ear, 
or the solemn hootings of the owl, beard from the topmost 
boughs of the pines. 

Tom at length came to a dead halt. 

^^ Look here, missus," said be, " sure as you be born, this 
horse foundered. He drink, drink too much at the creek back; 
he won't go one step ; be blow and puff like a windmill." 

Mrs. Walton was struck with dismay. She knew by the 
laboured breathing of the horse that Tom's fears were not 
without foundation. But what was to be done ? They had 
lanterns to the carriage; but she had forgotten to take 
matches, and there was no one near to whom she could apply 
for assistance. 

" Hark !" exclaimed Linda ; ^' I hear the sound of negroes 
singing not far off. I thought we could not be far from Mr. 
Marshall's plantation. See, here is a by-path leading to it." 

" What of that ?" uttered Mrs. Walton. " Tom cannot 
leave the horse in this condition. Linda, you must be tbe 
Jonah of our household, for you carry ill luck with you 
wherever you go. Tbe first journey your father took you bis 
finest horse was killed, and now my other best carriage-horse 
is going to die. If you bad come with Robert, this would 
not have happened." 

^ I will go myself," she meekly answered, " and see if I can 
send some help to Tom. I am not afraid to go alone." 

Away she ran, for the sand no longer obstructed her steps 



OP THE BELLE CREOLE. 157 

in the by-path, and the singing, sounding louder and louder, 
guided her way. Soon she saw a torch-light glimmering through 
the trees, and she found herself near a large corn-crib, from 
which the choral strains were issuing. To one unaccustomed 
to such a spectacle, nothing could have been more picturesque 
than the scene that presented itself to Linda's eye. Large, 
pine torches were flaring near the door, and threw their red 
light on the black visages of about forty or fifty negroes, sit- 
ting in a ring round an immense pile of corn, on which was 
seated the sable master of the ceremonies, who was tossing 
the corn down to the group below, who seized it, one by one, 
with a yell of delight, and, squaring their elbows and shrug- 
ging their shoulders, they vied with each other in stripping 
off the dry husks from the golden ears. The African mo- 
narch of this harvest festival, as he threw the grain into the 
dexterous hands of the workmen, rolled out a volume of voice 
that shook the pine-boards of the crib, and every negro joined 
in the chorus with a vehemence and glee, a physical joy and 
strength, which none of the pale race can imitate — 

"As I went out by the light of the moon, 
Merrily singing this old tune, 
I come across a big raccoon 
A sotting on a rail," 

shouted the Agrarian king: and then the sable orchestra 
chimed bravely in — 

" A sotting on a rail, a sotting on a rail — 
I come across a big raccoon 
A sotting on a rail." 

Then, as the spirit of melody waxed stronger, the mast r 
woidd vary his strains, and — 

"As I went down to Shinbone alley, 
Long time ago. 
To buy a bonnet for my Sally, 
Long time ago," 



158 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

echoed throngli the woods, in one full^ deafening chorus^ dying 
away only to be repeated with more Herculean vigour. There 
is nothing that bears the name of music, that can be com- 
pared to the negro's singing; he sings all over; every 
muscle quivers with melody; it gushes from every pore. 
The sounds seem to roll from the white of his eyes, as well 
as through his ivory teeth. His shoulders, elbows, knees, all 
appear instinct with song. He winks, he grins, stamps with 
his feet, taps with his heel, pats with his toes, raps with his 
knuckles — in short, gesticulates in every possible manner the 
human form admits. Oh ! he is in his glory at a corn- 
shucking ! 

It was long before the sweet voice of Linda could be heard 
above the din. It was not till she stood within the door, like 
a fair spirit of light stealing on their darkness, that they 
checked their wild notes and listened to her accents. They 
all knew the young mistress of Pinegrove ; but her unexpected 
appearance in the midst of their revels, looking so alabaster 
white in her black dress, with the crimson glare of their 
flambeaux streaming on her face, struck some of them with 
superstitious terror. 

'''■ It is a spirit !'^ whispered one, rolling his eyes slowly over 
his shoulder. 

'^ Pshaw — it's Miss Lindy,'' cried another of bolder nerves, 
springing up and coming towards her through heaps of shucks 
and denuded grain. It was the husband of Judy, and he 
worshipped the very ground on which her young mistress 
trod. 

" Lord bless her !" said he, peering at her from under his 
large hand, for tne blaze dazzled his eyes ; ^^ how came Miss 
Lindy here this time o' night ? Where she been ? — where 
she going ? — what for she all alone ?'' 

Linda explained their situation as briefly as possible, and 
was immediately escorted back by several of the stoutest vas- 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 159 

sals, with Judy^s husband at their head. They found Tom in 
real and unaffected grief, ^^ sorrowing over the expiring horse/' 
and Mrs. Walton bitterly murmuring at a misfortune she im- 
puted to Linda^s obstinacy and rebellion. Linda beheld, by 
the torches that the negroes brought, the poor creature 
stretched in his last agony, and the tears ran down her cheeks. 
She began to think there was some truth in her step-mother's 
remark that she was a Jonah, who brought misfortune in her 
train, and conscientiously assumed the loss of the Belle Cre- 
ole, as well as the two noble horses sacrificed in her cause. 
She proposed, as the only alternative, their passing the night 
at Mr. Marshall's ; but this Mrs. Walton positively refused, 
as she was determined on reaching home that night. Neither 
would she consent to borrowing his carriage ; she did not like 
him, and would not be indebted to him for the slightest favour : 
she could ride home on the remaining horse ; Linda could 
ride behind her, and they could thus reach home very conve- 
niently. Notwithstanding her fatigue and regret, Linda could 
not help smiling, when, mounted behind her mother, whose 
waist, for the first time, her shrinking arm surrounded, with 
a tall negro stalking before, waving a blazing pine-knot above 
his head, she jogged along, with a blanket for a saddle, and 
Mrs. Walton's large work-basket, committed to her care, 
swinging from her left arm. She had taken off her own bon- 
net to see more clearly the windings of the way; but her 
step-mother's long, green veil kept sweeping before her eyes, 
and twisting its folds with her damp ringlets. It was the 
same path she had travelled alone, when a little child, to in- 
tercede for her faithful Judy. She looked back upon the 
past, and remembered that God had been merciful to her; 
she accused herself of ingratitude and distrust, when she 
thought of the dangers from which she had been delivered— 
the perils she had escaped. She passed the old log school- 
house, and thought how blessed she had been in the instr^io 



160 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

tions of such a teacher as Aristides Longwood — so pure, so 
unworld-like, and so wise. Then, memory, wandering among 
the green avenues and oaken groves of Kose Bower, recalled 
the lessons of love there instilled into her young heart, and 
she lifted it wp in gratitude to Heaven. She lingered in fancy 
Iby the early grave of the gentle Luta, and wondered why 
Grod had spared her life, when he had taken away one so 
sweet and lovely. She went back still farther into the twi- 
light of the past, and dwelt on her wayward, exacting child- 
hood, when left to her own wild will, before an arbitrary step- 
mother had ruled her with an iron rod. 

" It is all right — it is just," thought she, looking upward 
through the shadows of night. " I have murmured and re- 
pined when I ought to be glowing with gratitude and love to 
the Being who has strewed my path with blessings, even as 
he has sown yon heavens with stars. I will no longer struggle 
madly with my destiny. I will commit myself into his guar- 
dian hands, praying only to be guided by his Spirit and governed 
by his will. If he has reserved for me such a blissful lot as to 
be the wife of Roland ; if I am permitted to walk hand in hand 
with him through life, and mingle my soul with his in death, 
my heart shall be a living holocaust, where gratitude shall burn 
with everlasting incense. But, if he has otherwise ordained, let 
me be able to say, ' Father, not my will, but thine be done.^ " 

With holy aspirations like these, the young heiress pursued 
her way, and, when she reached the old family gate, she could 
think with calmness of meeting Robert, though a few hours 
back the anticipation had filled her with fear and trembling. 

" Hallo, hallo, Massa I" called out the torch-bearer, for the 
gate was locked and Bruno set up a magnificent growl. A 
tall figure darkened the doorway. 

"Robert, Robert! don't come out in the night air!" cried 
his mother, but it was too late, he was already at the gate; and 
when Linda sprang from the horse, he caught her in his arms 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 161 

ere slie reacted the earth. She felt the tumultuous beatings 
of his heart, and her own began again to tremble with agi- 
tation. 

" You are better, Robert. You are well/' she cried, look- 
ing anxiously at his pale cheeks. 

'^Yes, perfectly well, — now you have come. But where' s 
the carriage ? What has happened ? Mother, what does this 
mean ?" 

^' You are very polite to let me get down by the block,'* 
said Mrs. Walton, stepping carefully to the ground, then 
eat^erly seizing her son's hand and drawing him towards the 
house. " Make haste and come in. Don't stay in the damp- 
ness." 

" I'm not sick, mother," said he, laughing and following 
her; but Linda felt the hand which still held hers, glowing 
with feverish heat, and when they stood together in the light 
of the room, she thought he looked thinner than when they 
parted. His countenance seemed softened. His long, black 
lashes cast a drooping shade over his eyes, and tempered their 
insufferable brilliancy. Linda, anxious to divert his mind 
from dwelling on their last meeting, gave an amusing descrip- 
tion of their adventures, while she twisted her fingers in her 
shining hair, to restore its disordered ringlets. 

" I don't think it's any thing to laugh at," cried Mrs. Wal- 
ton, holding out her new crape bonnet, and exhibiting several 
sinking places in the pasteboard, from which the stiffening had 
departed. " I have lost my best horse, spoiled my new bon- 
net, and I have, no doubt, ruined my di'ess, riding on Tom's 
dirty blanket." 

Linda looked round the familiar room, and the smile forsook 
her lips. Her eye rested on her father's vacant arm-chair, 
and, weeping, she remembered her dead. 

" I never saw such a girl," said Mrs. Walton ; " laughing 
one moment, and crying the next." She thought it best, how- 

11* 



162 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

ever, not to accuse her before Kobert of the death of tho 
horse, suspecting she would find a champion in him. 

And how did Linda feel, domesticated once more in her own 
native home — that home she had so much dreaded to see ? 
Ah ! she felt that it was home still, — the spot where she had 
first known life's mysterious vitality, childhood's wild exult- 
ance, — the place where a mother's smile had beamed, a mother's 
prayer ascended, a mother's grave was made, — a father's arms 
had caressed. It was still the focus of her most vivid associa- 
tions,, and though some of the rays were dim and darkened, 
they converged to their centre, obedient to nature's immutable 
laws. It was pleasant to feel the same breeze that had rocked 
the young birds of her native trees in their nests, fanning her 
cheek ; to hear the boughs whispering lovingly in her ear as 
the wind glided through them, as they had done years ago ; to 
be greeted on every side by glad, gleeful smiles, on the shin- 
ing faces of her own negroes, and be patted again, as she 
crossed the threshold, by the large, velvet paws of their 
household guardian. 

What a change did her return cause in the aspect of Pine 
G-rove ! There was beauty and gentleness, and light and 
music, where there had been gloom and silence and darkness. 
The apartments were once more redolent with flowers; the 
keys of the piano, resounding to the light touch of youthful 
fingers, responded to the sweet voice that warbled over them, 
and the birds, attracted by congenial strains, perched on the 
branches that shaded the windows, and joined in the chorus. 
The slaves, rejoicing in the beams of that lovely countenance — 
never turned towards them save in kindness and good-will — 
went cheerily to their daily tasks, vying with each other in 
administering to her wants. And what did Robert do ? He 
lived, breathed but in her presence; sat by her when she 
played and sang ; read to her when she sewed ; walked with 
her when she walked : in short, was her shadow, wherever she 



OP THE BELLE CREOLE. 163 

went. He seemed indeed the shadow of himself, so dijBferent 
was he from the fierce, imperious being she had so much 
feared. She began to think he had learned to love her as a 
brother, and her heart went forth to meet him with reviving 
confidence. Mrs. Walton, too, engrossed with her domestic 
afi"airs, left her unmolested; appearing perfectly satisfied, as 
she saw her with Robert, whose complexion gradually assumed 
a ruddier hue. 

Thus several weeks glided by, leaving brightening roses on 
Linda's cheek and scattering down on her heart, when a letter 
from Emily made her utter an exclamation of joy. She 
hastily broke the seal, when another letter enclosed fell into 
her lap. Her heart told her whence it came, and burning 
blushes covered her face. The eyes of Robert were upon her — 
those unfathomable eyes, and she felt as if her secret was re- 
vealed. Before she had time to take it in her hand, he had 
caught it and gazed steadily on the superscription. A cloud; 
dark as night, gathered over his countenance. 

'^This is a bold, free hand," said he with bitterness; "traced, 
no doubt, by one who is more accustomed to grasp the oar 
than guide the pen." 

" It is doubtless from Mr. Carleton," she was tempted to 
say, but the words died unuttered on her truthful lips. She 
had seen Roland's fine, vigorous handwriting, and recognised 
it at the fii-st glance. Her hand trembled — her bosom panted. 
She longed to fly to some lone corner, where she could peruse 
it unseen. She dreaded the storm lowering on Robert's dark- 
ening brow. Sunshine on one side, shadow on the other ; she 
stood irresolute, palpitating with mingled joy and fear. 

"You are not candid, Linda; you are not true," cried 
Robert, in a husky voice. " You have been trifling with feel- 
ings you can never fathom." 

" You are unjust and ungentleman-like, Robert,^^ said she^ 
moving to the door, her spirit roused, as it always was whea 



164 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

falsely accused. ^^ I am not accountalble to you for my corre- 
spondence, and I assure you I have established no clandes- 
tine one.'^ 

When she had left him, and recalled his dark, suffering 
countenance, she reproached herself for wounding a heart, 
with all its faults, only too devotedly her own. But Roland's 
letter was in her hand, and when, in the solitude of her cham- 
ber, her lightning glances flashed over the lines, then returned, 
and again retraced them with lingering tenderness, — she forgot 
Robert, her step-mother, every thing but him, with whose 
spirit her own mingled in every impassioned word. Roland 
wrote with a pen of fire, in language as free and fluent as the 
waves on which his bark was borne. 

Young maiden, plighted bride, or ' wedded wife ! Do you 
remember when the fii'st letter, from him enshrined in your 
heart of hearts, met your gaze ? Perhaps you sat in the soft 
shadow of muslin curtains as Linda did, and pressed the snowy 
folds against your crimson cheek, or mantled them over your 
quickened heart. Or perchance you were alone with nature, 
" that sacred bride of heaven, worthy of the passion of a 
god," and drank in her sacred influences with the love foun- 
tain that flowed in rushing streams through the virgin chan- 
nels of your heart. Oh, beautiful as the first rose of spring, 
the first star of evening, the first golden tint of the dawn, is 
the first written memorial from the being one loves ! 

Roland spoke with confidence of the future. He saw it in 
the light of his own bright, bold spirit, and it spread it like the 
map of a new, luxuriant country ; sunbeams lingering on the 
hill-tops, peace resting on the valleys, and freedom sporting 
on the blue, flowing streams. His soul expanded in the grander 
scenery by which he was surrounded. With the majestic 
Mississippi rolling beneath, the heavens themselves seemed to 
bend over him with a broader, more magnificent arch, and the 
wind unfurled its pinions with a stronger, ampler sweep. He 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 165 

spoke with confidence of her love. Having once been assured 
of it from her own lips, he believed in it as fully and firmly 
as the truth of G-od. No doubts or suspicious sullied his 
faith or wounded her fidelity. It was the polar star of his 
life, shining with pure, unchanging lustre, to which his heart 
would turn with magnetic sympathy, even to its last vibra- 
tion. 

" IMissus want to know if Miss Linda ever coming to din- 
ner,^ ^ said Nelly, putting her broad face in at the door. 

Linda started, — she had forgotten the flight of time, and 
hastily putting away her letters, she followed Nelly, with ill- 
concealed trepidation, into the dining-room. Robert was not 
there, but she was introduced to a stranger by the name of 
McCleod, a gentleman of Scotch descent, who occupied the 
place of Aristides in the log school-house, and had come to 
board a while in Mrs. Walton's family. Feeling the absence of 
Robert an unspeakable relief, she welcomed the singular-vis- 
aged stranger with an involuntary smile, which was returned 
with usury. 

Mr. McCleod was considerably past the heyday of youth, 
but he had that evergreen appearance which made it exceed- 
ingly doubtful what his age might be. He had a wide, irre- 
gular mouth, with very white, uneven teeth, which he displayed 
liberally when he laughed — not only the teeth, but the gums, 
which were of an unusually vivid red. His hair, too, was of 
a deep, unadulterated red, coarse and frizzled ; standing in re- 
bellious tufts, thick as peonies, all over his head. There was 
a slight obliquity in his small, black eyes, that gave his coun- 
tenance an expression of extreme cunning and shrewdness, a 
quaint, old-fashioned, twinkling look, that harmonized admi- 
rably with the brogue of his glib-rolling tongue. Ugly, sen- 
sible, comical, strange, were the epithets suggested to Linda, 
by the appearance of the Scotch schoolmaster. She could 
not help smiling every time she met the odS twinkle of his 



166 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

eye, wliich was ratlier frequent, for lie seemed to find her, as 
Ai'istides did, a " beautiful study/' — ^laying down his knife 
and fork, and rubbing his hands energetically, while he gazed 
upon her. 

^ A very nice young lady, very nice indeed/' said he, con- 
tinuing the friction of his broad palms. ^^Done with school, I 
suppose. Learning housewifery from her excellent mother, 
the best part of education. Excellent pudding, this, Mrs. 
Walton — excellent. I dare say the young lady's delicate fin- 
gers assisted in forming this delightful union of the acid and 
sweet. Not at all strange, that the sweet should preponde- 
rate, not at all — he I he 1" 

He had a way of repeating his words at the end of each sen- 
tence, and at the close a kind of inward chuckle expressed 
his own approbation of his remarks. 

" I cannot pride myself much on my culinary accomplish- 
ments," replied Linda, '^ though I intend to be an assiduous 
pupil in that department." 

" That's right," said Mr. McCleod, appro^dngly. " The 
art of cookery has degenerated in modern times. The Romans 
excelled in this divine science, and some of their most elegant 
scholars were the most accomplished gastronomists. My 
friend Mrs. Walton excels most ladies in this neglected branch 
of female education. She understands the exact proportions 
of things, she does — the art of composition, and I think I ex- 
cel in that of decomposition. I think I do. Ha ! ha !" 

It was very evident that the Scotchman was a favourite with 
Mrs. Walton, a very rare thing. Perhaps it was because he 
treated her with unusual deference, praised her household 
virtues and accomplishments, had an ecstatic way of listening 
when she spoke, always jumped to the door, and held it as she 
passed through, and, above all, never contradicted her. It is 
true he exhibited these courtesies in a still more enthusiastic 
manner to Linda, but she had been the fii*st object of these 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 167 

respectful attentions, and the first impression, usually so in- 
delible, was made. 

Linda rejoiced in this addition to the family trio, as it would 
break in on those too close-knitting tete-d-tefes with Robert, 
which she tried in vain to avoid. She expected, too, to derive 
great amusement from his oddities, as well as instruction from 
his classic lore. 

Supper passed, and still Robert came not. Mrs. "Walton 
grew anxious and restless. He had gone out hunting, and she 
could not account for his long stay. Some accident must have 
happened. He would take cold, get sick, a thousand misfor- 
tunes might occur. In vain the Scotchman praised her rolls, 
'' uncommonly nice rolls °/' her muffins, " unspeakably light 
muffins.^' She heeded not : for one single chord, that vibrated 
to the touch of feeling, was awake. At length he returned, 
looking gloomy and weary, refused to eat any supper, and 
passed almost immediately to his own room. 

" What can be the matter with Robert ?" said his mother, 
casting a sinister glance at Linda. '' He appeared well and in 
good spirits this morning.'^ 

Linda made no answer to this indirect question, but her 
heightened colour and downcast eye were not unnoticed by 
Mrs. Walton. 

^^Your son has a variable temperament," remarked Mr. 
McCleod. ^^Thc accompaniment of genius, madam. Look 
at his eye. Too bright not to be clouded sometimes ; entirely 
too bright. Now I am not subject to these changes in the 
least. Observe my eyes — neither too bright nor too dim. 
Just the right medium, is it not so, young lady, the right 
medium ? Ha ! ha I" 

He turned his eyes with such an irresistibly ludicrous 

squint that Linda laughed outright, and 3Irs. Walton was 

obliged to forgive his want of sympathy, in consequence of 

his admiration for her son's genius and brilliant eyes. She 
11 g 



168 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

followed her son to liis room, but found his door locked. 
'^ Robert, what is the matter ? Open the door and tell me." 

Kohert opened the door, but held it so that his mother could 
not enter. ^^ I wish you would not disturb me, mother. I 
am not sick. I only wish to be alone. I am not a baby or 
a child, that I must be called to account if I choose to go to 
bed without a supper." 

^^ But tell me, Robert, if that girl, Linda, isn't at the bot- 
tom of this ? If she is, I'll not yield to your desire for delay 
any longer. Til bring matters to a crisis at once." 

^^Let me be, to-night, if you would not drive me to distrac- 
tion," exclaimed Robert, impatiently, ^^ and for heaven's sake 
let Linda rest. Leave this matter to ourselves, whatever it 
may be. You cannot remedy it." Shutting the door and 
again locking it, he thus effectually precluded all further con- 
versation, and Mrs. Walton retired to her own room, to me- 
ditate on her future plans. 

Linda felt very unhajjpy at the change in Robert, for it 
convinced her that his passions existed in all their strength, 
and while she dreamed they had gradually died, they were 
only in a state of quiescence, perhaps acquiring new power 
from their transient repose. Her own conscience was not 
free from reproach. Had she been indeed true to the promise 
given ? Y»^as she not bound heart and soul to another, though 
plighted by no betrothal vow ? Was she acting openly and 
uprightly, in concealing from him that she had given her hap- 
piness into the keeping of another ? No, she would tell him 
all. She would throw herself upon his generosity, and appeal 
to him to shield her from his mother's persecutions. 

To resolve, with one of her ardent and impulsive nature, was 
10 act. Instead of avoiding him, she lingered near his side, 
and sought the renewal of that gentle intercourse which had 
been like balm to her harassed spirits, for the several past 
weeks. She could not help trembling, however, when the 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 1G9 

propitious moment arrived ; for the happiness or misery of 
her future life depended on the result of this interview. If 
he were magnanimous enough to relinquish his claims as a 
lover, and stand between her and an exasperated mother, — 
instead of uniting with her in a pursuit so harrowing and in- 
effectual, — there might yet be joy in store for her. 

" Are we now no longer friends, Robert V said she, run- 
ning her fingers softly over the keys of the piano, by which 
she was seated. 

^^ It is for yourself to decide, Linda," he replied gloomily. 
^^ I have borne from you coldness, dislike, disdain, but I can- 
not bear deceit." 

" Listen, Robert, while I lay bare my whole heart. I will 
be sincere, and then, though you may withdraw your friend- 
ship, you cannot withhold your esteem.^' 

" Stop one moment," said he, snatching her hand, and fix- 
ing on her a glance penetrating as steel. "I fear I cannot, 
bear it. Don't tell me you love another. I fear it. I dread 
it, but I don't hnoio it yet. Let me still doubt, still hope, 
but do not drive me to despair." 

^^ Alas ! I feared this violence, and yet your late gentleness 
and calmness encouraged me to believe you were changed." 

" I have been trying to subdue my fierce nature ; and when' 
you smile kindly on me, Linda, the tiger is really transformed 
into the lamb. You might lead me through life with one 
silken hair. I thought you were softening, pitying, almost 
loving. I thought — but that letter — yes ! tell me all, any 
thing is better than suspense. Despair itself is better than 
the agony of doubt and fear. Speak, and see how calmly I 
will listen." 

" Calmly," thought Linda, observing the hectic spot that 
burned on his cheeks, and the trembling hand on which his 
forehead leaned. She dreaded the consec^uences of her 
avowal, remembering the fearful scene she had witnessed at 



170 LrN"DA; OR; the young pilot 

Mobile, "but lie urged ber witb sucb yebemence to proceed, to 
tell him every thing, without any concealment or reservation, 
that she at length began, and told him all. But while she 
declared the strength of her love, she told him at the same tim, 
of her solemn determination never to marry with the convic- 
tion that his happiness would be sacrificed by the act. She 
paused breathless from agitation, gazing on the face of her 
auditor. He moved not during her recital, only his head 
drooped lower on his hand, and the flush on his cheek spread 
over his brow and temples. 

'^ Speak, Robert, and tell me you forgive the anguish I have 
unwittingly made you suffer. Could I have commanded my 
affections, they should have been yours.'' 

"And mine they shall yet be, by heaven V he exclaimed, 
starting up, his flushed cheek changing to a livid hue. " I 
might yield you to an equal, but never shall it be said that a 
low pilot has triumphed over me. What business has he, from 
the mere accident of preserving your life, to presume upon 
your love ? A Newfoundland dog would have done as much ; 
and you — I cannot believe such infatuation — you are mocking 
me ; you dare not tell me a second time that you reject Ro- 
bert G-raham" — here he raised himself proudly to his full, 
stately height — '' for that pitiful scoundrel, Eoland Lee." 

The fire literally blazed from his eyes. He ground his 
heel in the dust. Linda was terrified, and fled towards the 
door as from a lion spiinging from his lair ; but, pursuing her, 
and seizing both hands, he forced her to remain. 

" You shall not leave me V he cried ; " you have made me 
a madman, and you shall listen to my ravings. How could 
you sit down in cold blood and tell me that tale ? Why did 
you not deceive me a little longer ? It is true, I accused you 
of this J but I belie\ed it as little as that the azure of heaven 
would mingle witu the mire it shines upon. Fool that I am, 
10 resist my mother as I have done ! I would not let her 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 171 

force you. I wanted to win yonr love and gratitude by gen- 
tleness and fond, tender cares. I would not enter into her 
Tiolent measures ; but it is all over now. Linda, you sball be 
mine, as sure as tbere is a God above — ^mine, if you will, in 
peace — but still for ever mine." 

" In that God whom you blasphemously invoke I put my 
trust," replied Linda, looking upward, with heavenly calmness. 

The frenzy of his passion now beat against her in vain. The 
name of God, so boldly uttered, had the effect of a miracle. 
It was as if she had heard that divine voice which fell like 
oil upon the troubled waves, and smoothed them into rest. 
She struggled no more ; she attempted not to release her 
hands, though his grasp felt like burning iron on her wrists. 

" Go," said he, gradually relaxing his desperate hold y '^ go 
and triumph in my agonies. Laugh, when you think of the 
madman's antics, and thank heaven that your veins are filled 
with ice, instead of molten lead." 

" Oh ! Kobert, I dare not leave you in this terrible mood. 
Do not give way to such maddening passions." 

" Did I make myself?" cried he, fiercely. " Did I pour this 
boiling fluid in my heart, and bid it rush, as it now does, in 
burning torrents to my brain ? Away ! — ^you might as well 
tell the billows not to rise when the winds lash them to 
foam." 

" I would willingly die to give you peace, Eobert." 

^' Leave me, then ; I must be alone." 

As Linda softly closed the door, after bending on him one 
more tearful, pitying glance, he staggered back into a chair 
and covered his face with his handkerchief. The blood 
gushed from his nose and mouth, and for a few moments he 
sunk in partial insensibility. Still he was conscious of his 
situation : and, as soon as the mist melted from his sight, he 
rose and supported himself against the back of a chair. 

"It is a trifle," said he; but his voice sounded faint anj 



172 LINDA; OR; TOE YOUNG TILOT 

hollow. ^^It will save me a doctor's fee for blood-let- 
ting/' 

Then slowly approaching the fii-e, for the late autumnal 
winds were blowing and the cheering blaze illumined 
the chimney, he threw in the bloody handkerchief, and 
took up another which lay upon the table. It was Linda's. 
A faint, excjuisite perfume breathed from it, as he held it to his 
lips. He looked at it — no stain of blood was left. 

" It would be a shame," he murmured, ^^ to soil this delicate 
tissue with such dark fluid. TU wear it in my bosom, and 
see if it will ease its aching throbs." 

With a deep sigh, he took up his lamp, passed into the 
dining-room, approached the sideboard, and, diluting a quan- 
tity of salt with water, eagerly swallowed it. 

^' My mother will never know of this," repeated he, as he 
sought his chamber and threw himself, undressed, upon his 
bed. '■'' She would plague me to death about the night-air. 
Pshaw 1 I am glad I have safety-Yalves in my veins to let off 
some of my superfluous blood." 

With feverish pulse and throbbing temples, this victim of 
early -indulged and undisciplined passions tossed on his rest- 
less couch during the silent watches of the night. Love, 
hatred, revenge, and jealousy, fused in the burning forge of 
his heart, and mingling in hideous compound, assumed the 
wildest and most appalling forms. He had been dreaming 
that Linda was, leaf by leaf and flower by flower, slowly but 
surely twining her afi'cctions round him, from the time he had 
parted from her at Mrs. Carleton's to the moment when the 
thunderbolt of truth awakened him, scorching and withering 
iho, garland his own fancy had woven. 

Every one at the breakfast table was struck by his pale and 
haggard countenance. Linda, who knew not the physical suf- 
fering he had endured, and imputed it entirely to mental an- 
guish, felt too wretched to cat or speak, though Mr. M^Cleod 



OP THE BELLE CREOLE. 173 

obsequiously urged lier to do both. Indeed, he seemed the 
only one disposed to do justice to ^^ Mrs. Walton's very ex- 
cellent breakfast/' and generously exerted himself to make up 
for the deficiencies of others. 

" I feel sorry for that young man," said he to Linda, the 
first time he met her alone. "I know well where his disease 
is seated. Ah ! young lady, I see you are a dangerous person 
— very dangerous person. If I were young, I would not like 
to run the risk myself. You must not be angry with me, for 
I am a plain, blunt man— I am. If you cannot love him, 
you ought not to be in the same house with him. Why, it is 
killing him by inches. It seems very foolish in an old bache- 
lor to give advice on such a subject — very foolish indeed ; but 
the bystander always sees better than the actors — he does ; 
ha, ha !" 

It was strange, and Linda could not account for it; but 
there was something about this man that inspired confidence 
and disarmed displeasure. She felt the truth of his remarks, 
and involuntarily exclaimed — 

" Oh ! that I indeed had another home than this V 

" There is one piece of advice, young lady, permit me to 
give. You are very young and inexperienced, and I presume 
know little about matters of business. You will be sum- 
moned into court to choose a guardian, your father being de- 
ceased. Mrs. Walton, your excellent step-mother, will tell 
you to fix your choice on her — she will ; but, though I have 
the highest regard for the lady, I think it will be .much more 
judicious in you to select a male friend. Ladies are not al- 
ways as clear-headed as gentlemen, you know — not always as 
clear-headed — ha, ha ! Besides," continued he, ^' if you 
should wish to command any of your property before you be- 
came of age, Mrs. Walton might not think it proper to allow 
it ; very prudent lady Mrs. Walton is — very prudent, indeed." 

Linda, who, indeed, knew nothing about the forms of busi- 



174 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

nesS; and would have blindly followed Mrs. Walton's direc- 
tions, had it not been for the hint of the shrewd Scotchman ; 
thanked him for his counsel, and decided in her own mind 
that she would choose Mr. Marshall, her father's best friend. 

Mrs. Walton invited her to ride with her, as if pleasure 
was her sole object, and it was not till they were within a 
short distance from the court-house, that she explained the 
motive that brought her. 

^^ It is proper that you should choose a guardian," said she. 
'^ I brought you merely for form's sake, as I intend to assume 
the responsibility myself. All you will have to do is to sig- 
nify your choice. Of course, every one knows that I am your 
natural guardian, and the law only gives new sanction to my 
authority.'^ 

Linda made no reply. To dispute this authority would 
only expose her to a scene of violence, and she did not 
wish to appear in the presence of strangers disturbed and 
excited. 

The entrance of a young and beautiful girl, — the reputed 
heiress of a large fortune and the destined bride of her step- 
brother, for Mrs. Walton had circulated this report far and 
wide, was not likely to pass unnoticed. At first she was pale 
from trepidation, but the eager glances directed towards her 
from every side brought the vanishing roses back to her 
cheeks, with added bloom. She looked, indeed, by the side of 
her step-mother, like a sweet rose-bud springing up by a 
seeded dandelion. Among the many strange faces around her, 
she recognised the friendly countenance of Mr. Marshall, and 
it reassured her. When the judge, with great urbanity of 
manner, addressed to her the usual questions, and with mo- 
dest firmness she pronounced the name of Mr. Marshall, her 
step-mother uttered an involuntary exclamation, and gave her 
a withering ghmce. 

"Allow her to correct herself, sir," said she, hastily; "she 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 175 

is embarrassed, and knows not what slie says.'* Then address- 
ing Linda in a low voice, " Recall that, on your peril.'' 

" The young lady has the privilege of choosing for her- 
self, if she is past fourteen," said the judge, mildly, but de- 
cidedly. 

" It was her father's wish if he should die and leave her an 
orphan, that I should assume the office of guardian," affirmed 
Mrs. Walton, with the confidence of truth. 

" The young lady must choose for herself," reiterated the 
judge. 

Mrs. "Walton's character was so well known throughout the 
county, and rumours of her oppressive treatment of her lovely 
step-daughter so prevalent, that the most eager interest was 
manifested in the auditors. The name of her father thrilled 
the heart of Linda. Was it indeed his wish ? She knew 
Mrs. Walton harsh, severe, and unkind, but she had never 
detected her in a falsehood. She was aware of the exalted 
opinion her father had of her powers of management, and she 
thought it more than probable it had been his will. That 
sacred reverence which one cherishes for the wishes of the 
dead subdued the excitement of her feelings. 

"Was it indeed my father's expressed desire, that you 
should be elected as guardian, in preference of all others ?" 
she asked, in a low voice, of her step-mother. 

" I am not in the habit of uttering falsehoods," she indig- 
nantly replied. 

" In obedience then to my father's will, sir," said Linda, 
mournfully turning to the judge, the rich colour fading from 
her cheek, " I choose my step-mother as my guardian." 

Deep disappointment was visible on the countenances of the 
audience. Even a murmur of disapprobation was heard^ but 
Mrs. Walton, with a triumphant look, turned to depart. IMi*. 
Marshall, whose benevolent heart bled for the trials which 
the daughter of his friend was doomed to pass through, led 



176 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

her to tlie carriage. He grieved for the decision she had made, 
though he respected the motive. 

Poor Linda ! behold her seated in the carriage opposite that 
vinegar face, looking down that she may not see the storm she 
knows is about to roll in thunder over her head. She had 
yielded, it is true, but then she had at first dared to oppose her, 
in public too. Besides this, there were long arrears to settle, 
and the day of reckoning was come. Robert had told his 
mother of Linda's disgraceful confession, and she had only 
waited till the scene in the court might be over, to pour upon 
her the torrent of her indignation. 

And what a torrent it was ! Linda remained still and im- 
passive — a pearl beneath the wrathful billows. But all at 
once she roused, and lightnings flashed from her eyes. Ro- 
land a mean wi'etch, a low adventui'er, a base fortune-hunter. 
No ! — she could not hear such expressions without an indig- 
nant vindication. Never before had she spoken with such 
dignity and warmth. She cared not for the invectives that 
were showered u23on her. The majesty of virtuous affection 
sustained her, and she did not fear. 

" Very well,'' said the step-mother, with a curdling smile ; 
" I know how to save my family from disgrace. Before a 
week has passed over your head, you shall be the wife of Ro- 
bert ; unworthy as you are of such a blessed lot." 

" Never, never !" exclaimed Linda : " you may chain me, 
force me, imprison me, if you will, but you cannot compel my 
lips to utter vows so false." 

^^ there is no need of your uttering them. The justice 
will do all the talking/' replied she, with a sneer. 

Linda did not reply, and Mrs. Walton believed she had 
won the victory; but could she have penetrated the thoughts 
of her step-daughter, she would have cherished no such flat- 
tering delusion. All the energies of her spirit were roused, 
but she resolved no longer to waste them in words. 



or THE BELLE CREOLE. 177 

The family seamstress entered lier room with folds of shin- 
ing white satin suspended from her arm. 

" Miss Lindy will please let me measure her/^ said she, with 
a delighted smile. 

''Your labour will be lost/' answered Linda, quietly. "1 
never will wear the dress.'' 

" Missus say I must make it right off, — quick as I can." 

'^ Well, obey her/' said Linda ; " do your duty, and I will 
do mine." 

'^ Oh, Miss Lindy look so sweet when she get on this fine 
dress. Massa Robert, too, so handsome !" continued the 
seamstress, passing the rich folds through her sable fingers. 
Linda seemed to have adopted a system of non-resistance, for 
she sat passive as a statue, while the bridal robe was fitted to 
her youthful form. She scarcely seemed to notice the opera- 
tion that was going on, so abstracted was her eye, so marble 
was her cheek. 

The room which she occupied was in the wing of the house, 
opposite Mrs. Walton's. It was in the second story, and 
opened into a piazza that extended the whole length of the 
building. It was shaded by large hickory trees, whose 
branches, shooting out too luxuriantly and sweeping against the 
railing of the piazza, had been lopjDed off, while the trunks 
seemed to mingle with the columns of the portico, relieving 
their whiteness by their brown hue. Long after the family was 
asleep, Linda, regardless of the chilly night air, had wandered 
in this piazza, trying to mature some plan of escape from the 
persecution of her household. She could take refuge with 
Mr. Marshall, but her step-mother would pursue her there, 
unless she was guarded by bars of brass and triple steel. 
Even should she fly to Emily, her enemy would take the 
wings of the morning and baffle her flight. Rose Bower 
would be no refuge, for her residence could remain no secret 
in that youthful community. Her mother had a cousin resid 



178 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

ing near her own plantation in Louisiana, and who had the 
super\dsion of her property. Could she be placed under his 
protection, she would be secure, at least for a while. While 
absorbed in these meditations, she was startled by the rustling 
of the leaves of the tree near which she stood. A voice 
whispered from the boughs, 

^^ Let not the young lady be alarmed. It is a friend, anx- 
ious for her welfare, — it is. Please extinguish the light in 
your room, so that its reflection may not fall upon the piazza, 
and then approach as near as possible to avoid the danger of 
being overheard. We must be very discreet, — very discreet, 
indeed we must.'' 

Linda recognised the voice of the Scotchman, and a wild 
hope sprang up in her heart. Had Providence sent him to 
assist her in her hour of need ? Eagerly obeying his direc- 
tions, she waited in trembling expectation to learn the object 
of his coming. 

"A strange bird has lighted on your tree, my dear young 
lady, but I trust you will not find it one of ill omen. I could 
not speak with you alone this evening, and this was the only 
means of communication left. My heart bleeds for you, — so 
young, innocent, and unprotected. I cannot bear to see you 
sacrificed, — ^I cannot. I impugn not the motives of your ex- 
cellent step-mother. I do not wish to judge any one, but 
your aversion to this marriage is so uncommon, so very un- 
common, I would gladly save you from it." 

^' Oh, Mr. McCleod, how is that possible ? — tell me, and I 
will bless you." 

" Hush, Miss Linda, not quite so loud, if you please. We 
must be wary, very wary indeed. Now, you know, I am not 
a young man, — you see I am an ugly one, and believe me an 
honest one. Name tne place to which you wish to escape, and 
1 will be your guardian and guide, I will. You can trust mG 
as if I were your father ; young lady, you can." 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 17D 

" How kind, how good I" exclaimed Linda : ^' but your 
school. It will be impossible to leave it. Alas ! it can- 
not be." 

^'1 will obtain permission of Mr. Marshall, who is my 
chief patron, to dismiss it for a short time. It is an excellent 
thing to give occasional recreation to children, — excellent. 
No difficulty on this point, young lady, no difficulty at all." 

Thus reassured, Linda told him the various plans that had 
been suggested to herself, and her desire to go to Louisiana, 
in preference to any other place. He seemed to have arranged 
every thing already for that purpose. A fleet horse would 
bear them to the landing, where boats, constantly running, 
could transport them to any spot on the rivers of the south- 
west. To elude observation, they must start in the darkness 
of night, as soon as sleep and silence favoured their flight. 

^^Then let it be to-morrow," exclaimed Linda. " I cannot 
live and deceive. I shall betray my purpose if I linger. Let 
every thing be in readiness. I have no words to thank you, 
but half my fortune will be insufficient to prove my grati- 
tude." 

'^ Do not speak of it, young lady. The satisfaction of re- 
lieving you from your present very unpleasant situation, will 
be the only reward I ask, indeed it will. The young gentle- 
man and his excellent mother will be angry ; but if the young 
lady is pleased, that is sufficient, — quite sufficient, — ha, ha !" 

When Linda heard the inward chuckle, and saw the dim 
outline of the fiery head faintly burning through the cloudy 
night, she shivered at the thought of committing herself to 
his protection in the loneliness of darkness. Still, the respect- 
ability of his character, his disinterested kindness, his supe- 
rior age, were guarantees for her safety, and death itself was 
preferable to the doom that awaited her at home. Could she 
sleep after that strange interview ? No, — rekindling her 
lamp, she passed the remainder of the night in writing. She 



180 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

wrote to Emily a brief but entire history of all that bad oc- 
curred since their parting. She wrote to Eoland; but spoke 
not of her sufferings or intended fiight. Once arrived at a 
port of safety, she would apprize him of her residence and 
the motives that guided her actions, but she would not cause 
fruitless pain by dwelling on sorrows he could not relieve. 
Her last task was to address Mr. Marshall, and leave with him 
the story of her justification. Was it indeed her last ? She 
thought of Robert, and the pen trembled in her hand. His 
wild despair, his frantic rage, when aware of her departui'e, 
would it not unthrone his reason? Filled with pity, and 
even tortured by remorse at the agony she was about to in- 
flict, she addressed him in words of thrilling eloquence, while 
the scalding tears that blistered her paper bore evidence that 
it was the eloquence of the heart. She wrote with the solem- 
nity, the tenderness and truth of a last farewell ; and if ever 
the human heart was laid bare, in all its purity, singleness, 
innocence, and sensibility, it was on those tear-blotted pages, 
which were destined never to leave the bosom of the unhappy 
youth to whom they were addressed. 

" Oh ! what an odious task is mine V thought she, when, 
by the morning light, she reviewed the past, and contemplated 
the future . " But am I not driven to it ? Is there any alter- 
native left ? Tm living in sin and strife, in an atmosphere 
of passion, withering to my soul's life. I'm becoming a crea- 
ture of wild impulses, which might urge me on to deeds of 
madness and crime. ]My Father who art in heaven, forgive 
me, if I am led into wrong." 

Eobert, in whose breast conscience and passion held fearful 
warfare, avoided being alone with Linda, dreading her too just 
reproaches. Mrs. Walton, exulting in the successful mastery 
she liad obtained over the will of her rebellious step-daughter, 
was unusually gracious. She even filled her purse to over- 
flowing, a boon as unexpected as it was welcome, though 



OP THE BELLE CREOLE. 181 

received by Linda with bluslies of conscious guilt. Sho 
thus found herself supplied with ample means to defray the 
expenses of her own journey, as well as her companion's. 
Mrs. Walton was in a munificent mood. Even to her, Linda's 
feelings softened in the prospect of leaving her for ever. 
When she rose to seek her chamber at night, and thought it 
might be the last time she might ever look upon his face 
again, that face so eminently handsome, in spite of the dark 
passions that defaced its brightness, she turned toward Kobert 
with sad and tearful eyes. It was the first time since their 
last meeting alone, that she had voluntarily sought his glance. 
It had upon him the efiect of electricity. ^^ Linda," said he, 
drawing near her, and taking her hand, with unaccustomed 
gentleness; then, bending down, he added in a low voice, 
a Forgive me, if I have made you unhappy, but if an eternity 
of love and devotion can atone for the past, my life shall be 
one long act of expiation." • 

" Oh, Robert, I forgive you,'^ said she, drooping her head 
on his shoulder, to hide her gushing tears; ^^ but the time 
may come when you will never forgive yourself." 

Robert was unutterably affected by her manner. He had 
been struggling with his conscience, and smarting from its 
goads, and those solemn, gentle words unmanned him. Tears 
gathered into his haughty eyes, and fell hot and fast on her 
pale, fair cheek, like those large, splashing drops that fall 
from the thunder-cloud, when the dry, sultry earth seems to 
repel the moisture. 

^^ I cannot bear this," she faltered, almost fainting from 
agitation. ^^ God bless you, Robert," and breaking from the 
arms that sought to detain her, she ran up stairs, and throw- 
ing herself on her knees by the bed-side, wept as if her heart 
would break. She was tempted to remain and sacrifice her 
happiness for his. She accused herself of selfishness, dupli- 
city, and cruelty. She loathed the idea of the twinkling-eyed 



182 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

Scotchmaiij with his chuckles and ha, ha's. ^^No — I cannot 
go Better to stay and die." 

The door softly opened, and Aunt Judy inserted her white 
turret through the aperture. ^^ Bless her little heart/^ she 
cried, carefully shutting the door, and approaching her weep- 
ing darling. "What is the matter? Old Judy steal away a 
little while, just to get a peep at the wedding finery. Folks 
tell her. Miss Linda love Massa Robert now, and willing to let 
old new missus have her way. Bless the Lord, if it be so — 
honey, but if it ben't, don't act out a lie. You will be sorrj 
for it, all your born days." 

"Oh, Aunt Judy, I am so unhappy;" and throwing her 
arms across the faithful creature's lap, she sobbed like a 

• wearied child. 

" Lackaday, what shall I do for her?" cried Judy, smooth- 
ing her young mistress' beautiful brown tresses with her la- 

• bour-hardened hand. "What would poor dear dead mistress 
say, if she live to see this day? Don't marry Massa Robert, 
if you no love him, honey. He too fierce, too headstrong. 
He make you all the time live in a storm. Nigger no busi- 
ness tell white folks what to do, but she feel what right in her 
heart. She know it's sin to stand up 'fore Grod, and swear to 
love all the days of her life, when she no love one bit." 

Linda rose up, strengthened in her purpose by the true 
words of the faithful African. 

" You are right, Judy," said she, bathing her burning eyes, 
to clear away the blinding mist. " I will not commit this 
sin. If God sends me a way of escape, I will not let it go. 
Here, take this letter to your master, and bless him for all his 
kindness. And pray, Judy, that the time will soon come, 
when I can give you a home on the banks of the Mississippi, 
where I can repay you in your latter days for all your love 
and fidelity to my orphan childhood. Here — take this and 
this," Dressing silver tokens of remembrance in her ebon 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 183 

hand, " good and faithful friend, and if you hear any one 
speak harshly of your young mistress, tell them — but no 
matter. Go, now, Judy, I would be alone. '^ 

" Oh, Miss Linda,'^ sobbed the weeping slave, " it break 
my heart to hear you talk so solemn. Oh, it was an' awful 
day, when good Massa Walton brought that white-eyed woman 
and her big saucy boy into this house. I always thought it a 
judgment on him.'' 

" Hush, Jud}', if you love me — and go. I must be alone." 
With lingering tenderness, Judy looked back upon the young 
face, which was' to her the image of all that was sweet and 
lovely on earth, and of all that she dreamed of the angels of 
light. Linda felt as if forsaken by her last friend, but she 
strugo^led with her emotions, and tried to arm herself with 
fortitude and resolution. Her little bundle was prepared, the 
letter to Robert placed in a conspicuous position on the mantel- 
piece, her shawl ready to wrap around her, and she was count- 
ing the moments by the loud beatings of her heart. All be- 
came still as the grave, and she knew that the hour was come. 
She was to meet McCleod in the grove adjoining the yard, 
where he would be waiting in the shadow of the trees. 

'' Oh \" she sighed, " when, years ago, I went out in dark- 
ness and stealth, it was to plead for another, and I was strong. 
But for myself, I am now forsaking home, and braving un- 
known perils. Alas ! how weak I am." Slowly and noise- 
lessly she glided down the same back stair-way, and came 
forth under the shadow of night. The light of a partially 
clouded moon favoured her fugitive steps. She knew now 
there was no necessity of appeasing the Cerberus with bis- 
cuits, when a whisper of her soft, recognised voice would 
check his fiercest growl. She paused and trembled, thinking 
she heard footsteps approaching, but it was only the echo of 
her own. With the cold dew of fear gathering on her brow, 
she hastened onward to the spot where McCleod stood, holding 
12 



18-i LINDA ; OR; THE TOUNG' PILOT 

by tlie bridle the imj^atient borsG; who was pawing the ground 
and champing bis bit^ indicative of bis baste to depart. 

" Wait a moment/^ cried sbe, putting ber band distract- 
edly to ber bead. '^ I am so dizzy. I sball fall if I attempt 
to ride.'^ 

^^ Let not tbe young lady be alarmed/' replied McCleod, in 
a sootbing voice. ^'Tbe borse is perfectly gentle^ and sbe 
may rely on my protection implicitly — sbe may. I bave 
learned tbat a boat will certainly be at tbe landing by morn- 
ing, and if we make no delay, we sball reacb tbere in time. 
Don't be cast down, Miss Lindy. Tbere is no cause, indeed, 
tbere is none." 

^' Well, Grod bless you, sir, as you are faitbful to tbe trust 
reposed in you.'' Sbe is up — sbe is gone — swiftly sbe is 
borne tbrougb tbe dark pine-woods. Sbe bas lost tbe ghost- 
like gleam of ber mother's white marble tomb-stone, the last 
glimpse of tbe paternal roof. Her heart feels like a stone in 
ber bosom, so heavy — so cold — so sinking. Every once and 
a while, tbe Scotchman turns and whispers words of cheer 
and comfort, and sbe tries to be grateful, and to check the 
shuddering sensation tbat runs, like an ague fit, tbrougb her 
limbs. Oh ! bow long seem tbe hours of that night to her 
excited imagination ! bow chilling tbe gray light of approacb- 
incr dawn ! At lensrtb sbe bas reached the landino;. Faint 
and exhausted, sbe is lifted from tbe borse and placed under 
a spreading tree. McCleod looks anxiously up the stream, 
watching for the dark wreath that crowns the steam-borne 
bark. Hark ! a sullen, plunging sound is beard. A cloud, 
heavier than the gray of morning, sweeps along tbe sky. Tbe 
agitated river curls in waves against tbe banks, as tbe boat 
comes nearer and nearer; and tbe steam rushes bowling 
tbrougb its iron veins. Linda is on board. Safe from present 
pui'suit, she sinks upon a couch, and, worn out by two sleep- 
less, harrowing nights, falls into deep, protracted slumbers. 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE.' 185 

When slie awoke, and felt the cool breeze of the river blow- 
ing on her cheek, and heard the lulling sound of the water 
dashing against the shore, she started, and leaned on her 
elbow with bewildered air. She passed her hand oyer her 
eyes to clear her vision, and see if the banks were indeed 
there, apparently scudding so swiftly by. Then a glad sense 
of freedom, of relief from persecution, and hope of future 
joy — a radiant vision of Roland Lee — came rushing and 
beaming over her. She rose refreshed and cheered, bathed 
her face, arranged her disordered dress, and restored to 
smoothness and beauty her tangled locks. A glow, like 
the dawning of morning, mantled her cheek. One could 
hardly have recognised, in her brightened countenance, the 
pale, trembling, weeping fugitive of the preceding night. 
Then despair reigned, but hope now claimed the empire of her 
heart. "When McCleod met her on deck, he rubbed his hands 
with rapture. 

^' How charmingly you look. Miss Linda V he exclaimed. 
'^ I told you, you had nothing to fear — ^nothing. Every thing 
favours us : a fine, fast-sailing boat, one of the best on the 
river — the very best; and just to think of its meeting us the 
very moment we had arrived — the very moment ! TVe shall 
have a fine moon to-night — we shall. I never felt so happy 
in my life, young lady. I feel sorry for the young man and 
his excellent mother ; but I feel very happy myself — I do — 
ha, ha!'^ 

" Never, never, can I repay your disinterested kindness,'^ 
eried Linda ; " but there's one in heaven who will,'' added 
she, looking upward with one of those lovely expressions 
peculiar to her dark hazel eyes. 

The Scotchman turned aside his head, and passed his hand- 
kerchief over his face. 

'' Do not speak of it/' said he, as if oppressed by her gra- 



186 LINDA j OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

titude ; ^^ it is not wortli mentioning. I am more than repaid 
already — I am.'^ 

When Linda first entered the boat, she felt it an unspeak- 
able relief that there were no other female passengers, with 
curious eyes and inquisitive lips, to embarrass and annoy her. 
But when night came on, a feeling of indescribable loneliness 
oppressed her, combined with the remembrance of those terri- 
ble scenes of which that river, over which they were now 
peacefully gliding, was the theatre, and herself a suffering 
actor. She leaned over the railing, and watched the glitter of 
the moonlight on the rippling waves, so bright, so dazzling, 
so intense, the reflected beams seemed to mock the paler glory 
of the heavens. Gradually a soft, translucent mist rose, like 
a silver exhalation from the bosom of the water, and floated 
in gauzy wreaths along the shore. Seen through this mellow- 
ing haze, the landscape beyond assumed the indistinctness and 
loveliness of fairy land, and, as the vapory curtain lifted 
higher and higher its diaphanous folds, the moon smiled 
through the veil of fleecy whiteness with pale and nun-like 
beauty. 

"A very sweet night it is," said the voice of the Scotchman; 
^^but I fear the fog will become so thick we shall have to stop 
sailing till morning." 

" Oh, I hope not," cried Linda, painfully awakened to the 
realities of her situation ; ^^ it would be dreadful. Another 
boat might overtake us, and my flight be discovered." 

" If we are able to sail about twelve miles farther, all will 
be well," repeated McCleod, as if talking to himself; then, 
taking Linda's hand and drawing it through his arm, "Let 
us walk the deck awhile, if you are not disposed to sleep. 
Every thing is so still, it seems as if we were alone in the 
world — it does." 

Linda sighed She could not bear the proximity of this 
man, to whom she was under such unutterable obligations, 



OP THE BELLE CREOLE. 187 

and she hated herself for her ingratitude. To excuse herself 
for withdrawing her arm from his, she proposed sitting on 
deck, and the obliging Scotchman brought out chairs and 
placed them side by side. When, however, he seated him- 
self so near, that he placed his arm over the back of her 
chair, she wished she had continued her promenade, finding 
motion to her restless mind preferable to repose. 

^' Miss Linda,^' said McCleod, " how would you like to rest 
a while in a lonely spot, not very far from here, in perfect 
quiet and seclusion ? There would be no danger of your be- 
ing discovered by your friends — none in the world. Yery 
few know of its locality — very few, indeed. You can remain 
there as long as you please, and no one shall molest you or 
make you afraid — they shall not.^' 

"No, no," cried Linda, "I do not want rest; I dread it 
till I reach my destination. Once with my mother's relatives, 
I shall feel safe, and only then." 

" Are you not safe with me, my dear young lady ? Not 
one of your relatives can regard you with deeper interest than 
I do — not one." 

" You are very kind ; but I sigh for a home — a shelter 
from persecution and violence, — such as I shall find with my 
mother's kindred." 

" I will furnish you a home, young lady, where persecution 
and violence shall never reach you, and where I will protect 
you with the fondest care — I will." 

" "Where do your mother and sisters live ?" asked Linda, 
wondering she had never heard him speak of his quiet, happy 
home before. 

"I have no mother or sisters," replied he, rubbing his 
hands softly together, while his eyes twinkled like meteors 
through the thickening mist. "I am a lone man, a very lone 
man — ^I am. I have long been thinking of taking unto my- 
self a wife ; but never saw one of woman-kind that pleased 



i^S LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

my fancy — I never did — ^imtil — until" — he stammered ; and, 
again passing his arm over the back of her chair, let his hand 
fall gently on her shoulder 

"Until when?'' cried she, starting up in inexplicable 
emotion. 

" Till I saw you, my dear young lady, looking so sweet 
and beautiful, and smiling so lovely, at the table of your ex- 
cellent step-mother. Yes, I loved you," he exclaimed, gather- 
ing assurance now the astounding declaration was made — " I 
did ; and, seeing with great delight your aversion to Robert, 
I brought you away to marry you myself — to marry you my- 
self—ha, ha V 

Linda stood as if transfixed by a bolt from heaven ; but, 
when the traitor dared to put his arms round her, she shook 
him off with the strength of a young lioness. 

" Touch me not on your life," she cried ; " come not near 
me, or, by heaven, I'll plunge headlong into the river rolling 
beneath." 

"■ Come, Miss Linda, don't be so violent," said he, in a soft, 
wheedling tone. " You mustn't be so hard to please — you 
mustn't. Perhaps I am not as handsome as Kobert ; but I 
can take excellent care of your property — I can ; and, as for 
loving you, there are not words enough in the English lan- 
guage to express half the love I bear you — there is not. 
Don't be frightened — don't be afraid of me — I'll make you a 
thousand times better, more constant husband than any of 
these wild young fellows — I will." 

" Oh ! thou treacherous monster ! — thou base, deceiving 
yrretch !" she exclaimed, every fibre quivering with indigna- 
tion, "to lure me away from home, with promises of parental 
protection — to wind yourself into my confidence and esteem — 
that you might insult and outrage me by a declaration like 
this. Away, if you would not drive me mad. Merciful 
Father !" she continued, stretching up her arms to the sky, 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 189 

now covered with a thick, dark curtain of condensing mist, 
"whj hast thou forsaken my desolate youth T' 

''Well, I will leave you a while to think on the subject," 
said the wily Scotchman, quailing at the sight of her terrible 
despair. " You have no choice left, my dear ; you have no 
friend in the world to whom you can apply for protection at 
this time but me — you have not. You are completely in my 
power, and I haven't taken all this pains for nothing. No 
power on earth, or in heaven, shall take you from my hands. I 
shall have the sweetest little wife in the world,'' cried the 
odious wretch, rubbing his hands and chuckling ; '^ the sweet- 
est little wife in the world, one of these days — I will." 

Thus saying, he skulked into the cabin, secure of his prey, 
and gloating in fancy over the treasure he had betrayed into 
his power. Linda remained leaning against the slight railing 
that separated her from a watery grave, in a state of mind 
bordering on frenzy. She pressed both hands on her hot brow, 
ten'ified at the strange, dizzy, delirious sensations rushing 
through her brain. One fearful thought predominated over 
every other, that she was forsaken by God and man, and given 
over to desolation and misery. The boat gave a sudden 
wrench, that threw her backward against the door of her state- 
room ; then there was a grinding sound, against the banks, a 
violent gust of steam howling from the pipes, and all was still. 
The boat was moored for the night, for the river was wrapped in 
a mantle of impenetrable fog, and, after a short time, not a 
sound was heard, save the occasional cry of a night-bird wail- 
ing on the shore. 

What slight, dark-clad figure is that, stealing down th9 
damp, slippery steps, over the narrow, vibrating plank, then 
springing on the sandy bank ? It glides through the fog with 
rapid motion, penetrates deeper and deeper into the woods, 
following the path dimly seen through the obscurity of the 
night. Alas ! poor fugitive I what will become of thee, 



190 LINDA ; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

guidelesS; homeless^ and hopeless ; treachery behind thee, and 
darkness and unknown dangers before ? 

" Oh ! dreadful is this loneliness/^ sighed Linda, pausing 
for breath, and leaning against a blasted pine, fit emblem of 
her blighted hopes, ^^ but more dreadful is the enemy from 
whom I fly. I shall perish here in the wild woods, and Ro- 
land will never know where to find my nameless grave, to shed 
one tear over her who died that she might remain true to 
him." A flood of tears deluged her cheeks, and relieved the 
burning fever of her brain. She wept long and bitterly, and 
as she wept, a gentle feeling of submission to the Divine will 
stole into her heart, like a dove brooding over the billows. 
She felt willing to die. Young as she was, life had been full 
of trials. It would be sweet to meet her mother in heaven, 
and sweeter still to pillow her weary, aching head on the com- 
passionate bosom of her Saviour and her God. Kneeling at 
the foot of that blasted pine, in that breathing solitude, that 
lone, damp, dreary spot, the young heiress, torn from every 
earthly stay, committed herself to Him whose eye pierces the 
mist-darkened- forest, as well as the sun-lighted temple. She 
felt as if an angel came and ministered unto her, whispering 
peace to her sinking heart. 

" Why art thou cast down, my soul !" she cried, rising 
from her knees, and renewing her solitary journey, ^^and why 
art thou disquieted within me ? Hope in Grod ; for I shall yet 
praise him for the help of his countenance." It was astonish- 
ing how texts of Scripture, learned in earliest childhood at 
her mother's knee, stole on her memory like echoes of celestial 
voices, vocalizing the fearful solitude of those lone woods. 
She had escaped a doom far worse than death. Grod had sent 
up that mist from the bosom of the river that she mio-ht 
escape from the face of her enemy. Perchance he would raise 
Tjr a friend to protect her by the wayside ; and she went on 
» \iknowing whither she went, the mist rolling before, like the 



OP THE BELLE CREOLE. 191 

pillar of cloud that guarded the children of Israel in their 
weary pilgrimage. 

She knew not the distance she had trayelled, or the time 
that had elapsed ; but she felt that her blistering feet could 
not bear her long, even the light bundle that hung on her arm 
weighed heavily on her weary frame. Was it a torch that 
gleamed through the fog, or did her blinded eyes deceive her ? ' 
It grew brighter, till the mist reddened and dispersed around 
it, and she beheld a clearing in the woods. At first her 
dazzled sight could distinguish nothing but a broad blaze, 
issuing from a cluster of pine knots, piled near a tall ancestral- 
looking tree ; but the outlines of a human figure, seated against 
the trunk, so still and dark, it seemed a part of the bronze- 
coloured bark, soon came out in bold distinctness. It was a 
red-browed son of the wilderness, looking in the shadow of 
that aged tree like the lone representative of his ruined and 
fast-expiring race. The dog that slept at his feet, wakened 
by the stranger's footstep, leaped up and barked. The Indian 
grasped his rifle, and looked fiercely towards the intruder. 

It was too late for flight. She had been seen, and she 
might as well think to escape the lightning's bolt as the fleet 
foot of the red man. A horrid vision of the scalping-knife 
and the burning stake passed before her, as, urged by despe- 
ration, she darted forward, and threw herself on her knees be- 
fore the astonished Indian. Her bonnet, loosely confined by 
a knot of ribbons, fell back from her head, revealing her 
wildly luxuriant hair and alabaster forehead. She could not 
speak, but her clasped hands and pleading eyes were full of 
prayer and supplication. 

" White stranger," said the Indian, in a deep, musical voice, 
and true to the stoicism of his tribe, exhibiting no sign of 
wonder ; " white stranger, how came you here, alone ?" 

A cry of joy issued from Linda's heart. He spoke her lan- 
guage. He could understand; he could answer her. His 



192 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

voice had the tone of civilization. She even thought a gleam 
of kindness softened his small, glittering eye. Had she studied 
for years to indite an address of eloquence and power to move 
his compassion, she could not have uttered any thing more 
thrilling or persuasive, than the simple words that burst spon- 
taneously from her lips : — 

'^ Save me from the white man, or I perish.'^ 

^' Grood V ejaculated the Indian. ^^ I will take care of the 
white maiden. Yonder is my cabin, but it is far from this 
spot. You are tired, and can walk no farther. Eut I will 
carry you, for my arm is strong." 

" I can walk," said Linda, faintly, but she tottered as she 
spoke, and would have fallen to the earth, had not the friendly 
arm of the Indian sustained her. Raising her as lightly as 
he would an eagle's feather, he shouldered his rifle on the 
other arm, whistled to his dog, and plunged into the woods. 

Linda was so much exhausted in body and mind, that she 
was reduced to the helplessness of infancy, and lay against the 
shoulder of her dusky guide, scarcely conscious of the pillow 
on which she leaned. At length he stopped at the door of a 
log-cabin. 

^^ Naimuna," cried the Indian, lifting the latch. A woman 
seen by the light of the smouldering fire rose from a pile of 
bear-skins, and gazed with bewildered countenance on the 
fair, helpless burden he bore in his arms. 

^^ Spread a blanket over the skins," said he. " Lay it 
smooth, and let the white wanderer rest." 

As she sunk on her soft bed of furs, and felt the warmth 
of the fire, now replenished by fresh pine knots, penetrating 
her chilled and aching limbs, and was conscious, too, that one 
of her own sex, though of darker race, bent kindly over her, 
arranging a pillow for her weary head, she closed her eyes 
with a feeling of grateful security, and the '' white wanderer" 
indeed found rest. 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 193 



CHAPTER XV. 

"Not in her room V exclaimed Mrs. Walton. " Have not 
seen her this morning ! It is very strange." 

"Noj missus," said Nelly, ^-but here is a letter I found on 
the mantel-piece. It wan't there last night, and may be it is 
for you." 

" 'Tis mine," cried Robert, starting forward and snatching 
it with a shaking hand. Bursting open the seal, his eyes ran 
over a few lines, while his mother looked over his shoulder as 
he read. All at once he tui-ned furiously round and grasped 
her by the shoulder. 

" Mother, mother ! this is your work. You have driven 
her away by your cruelty. You have made me a partner in 
your wickedness. You have destroyed us both." Thus say- 
ing, he rushed from the house, calling in a voice of thunder 
for his horse. 

"Robert, Robert I" cried his mother, pursuing him to the 
door, " come back. "What are you going to do ? You know 
not where she is gone. Where's Mr. McCleod ? I have not 
seen him either this morning. Yile wretches ! they must 
have gone off together. Base hypocrites ! I will have ven- 
geance on them both. Robert, Robert !" 

But Robert heeded her not. In a few moments he came 
thundering through the yai'd on his coal-black horse, the 
swiftest rider in the country, and as the loud cry of " Robert, 
Robert !" again issued from his mother's lips, he turned his 
head, shook his hand in defiance, and continued his headlong 
course. He saw the print of heavy hoofs in the wood-path, 
and was sure he was in the fugitive's track. Onward he went, 



194 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

till tlie path was lost in the main-road^ and, guided by th€ 
same prints, he dashed forward, without pausing even to wipe 
the sweat-drops from his brow. It was considered a day's 
journey by carriage to the landing-place, but the sun was still 
several hours from setting, when Robert arrived at the spot, 
his horse reeking with sweat and flecked with foam. The rivei 
was flowing calmly on, blue as the heavens it reflected, and 
nothing broke on the monotonous rippling of the waters but 
the strokes of a wood-cutter's axe, reverberating from the op- 
posite bluff. He threw his bridle round a projecting branch, 
and leaping over intervening piles of wood, stood face to face 
with the wood-cutter. 

^^ Has a boat passed to-day ? Did you see a young lady at 
the landing this morning ? TVas there a red-haired gentle- 
man with her ?" were questions so rapidly put, that the man 
drew a long breath, before he attempted to answer. 

" Yes — I saw a young lady riding behind a red-haired man, 
stop ab^ut here, early this morning; and there was a boat 
come along the very minute they got off the horse, and they 
were away down the river in a mighty hurry.'' 

" Was she drest in black ?" 

" Yes — I believe so ; and a mighty pretty young lady she 
was, though she looked sort of flustered ; but as for the man, 
he was the ugliest fellow I ever sot eyes on.'' 

"What was the name of the boat?" 

" The Red Rover." 

" When will another boat be here ?" 

"I don't know. Sometimes there's a heap of them all 
together as 'twere. Then, again, there ain't any for two or 
three days." 

" I must get a passage immediately, I would give a king- 
dom, if I had it, for a glimpse of smoke on the river." 

" You had better sit down on the wood-pile and watch. I 
think I hearn them say, there was one to be along 'fore night. 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 196 

I know I've been chopping hard enough to have wood ready 
beforehand. They burn an amazing sight of wood on these 
steamboats.'' The wood-cutter resumed his axe^ and again 
the opposite bluff reverberated with the sound. 

Robert could not, would not sit down. He walked back- 
ward and forward; like a lion in a cage, sometimes stamping 
the ground impatiently, and looking fiercely up the river, as 
if he would have lashed its waves, like another Xerxes, in the 
impotence of his passion. At length, just as the sun was 
slowly dipping in the western horizon, the dark cloud was 
seen floating onward, for which his straining eyes had been so 
long looking — winged by steam, the motions of the vessel 
were almost as swift as his desires, and leading his weary 
horse, the being next to Linda he loved best on earth, he 
soon entered the boat that bore him in the wake of the fu- 
gitives. 

^^ Is this a fast-sailing boat ?" was the first question he asked, 
as exhausted from fatigue and want of food he reeled into a 
chair, as soon as he entered the cabin. 

^'Yerj/' was the reply. ^^ Don't you see, she's called the 
Mercury, on account of her speed?" 

But fast as she sailed, her motions seemed slow to Robert's 
fiery spirit. It was a clear, brilliant night, and she pursued 
her way unimpeded only by occasional pauses, to take in 
freight of cotton bales, which came rolling down the wooden 
slides, like avalanches from the mountain slope. He slept 
only by feverish fits, and when the vessel shook and heaved, 
as the heavy masses tumbled against its sides, he would start 
up and rush on deck, forgetting on what element he was 
borne. 

When, after sweeping through the bay, the boat landed at 
the wharf, he eagerly sought the name of Red Rover on the 
vessels moored there. ^'Here is the captain of the Red Rover, 
coming on board," remarked a passenger, as a gentleman en- 



196 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

tered tlie social hall. Robert approached him, with an agita- 
tion that for a moment deprived him of the power of utterance. 

'^ Was there a very young lady, dressed in mourning, a pas- 
senger in your boat yesterday ?^^ asked he. ^^ And was she 
accompanied by a gentleman with red hair ?" 

^' Yes," answered the captain, looking compassionately on 
the pale face and quivering lip of the young man. ^^ Are you 
her relative ?" 

^^No matter what I am,'^ answered he, impetuously. ^^But 
tell me where she is ! I must see her." 

" I am sorry for you," said the captain. " Nothing has 
ever occurred, since I have had the command of a boat, that 
gave me such deep distress. She was so young and lovely, 
and seemed so sad." 

"In heaven's name, tell me what has happened?" cried 
Robert, grasping the captain's arm with a force that made it 
ache. 

^' Pray, be calm, sir, and I will give you all the particulars 
with which I am acquainted. The unfortunate young lady, 
to whom you allude was seen walking on the deck, with the 
gentleman who seemed to be her protector, till a late hour. 
What passed between them, I know not, but passionate tones 
were heard on both sides. She remained alone after the gen- 
tleman retired, and in the morning no trace of her was to be 
found. There is every reason to fear that she plunged into 
the river, and found a voluntary grave." 

Robert kept his wild black eyes fastened on the captain^ s 
face, as with a feeling but deliberate manner, he related the 
melancholy facts ; but, at the words a voluntary grave, relax- 
ing his hold suddenly, he staggered back, and would have 
fallen, had not the captain sustained him in his arms. The 
eyes of the unhappy young man closed, and a stream of blood, 
welling from his lips, covered his neckcloth and vest with 
crimson stains. A scene of indescribable confusion ensued, 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 197 

for the boat was crowded with people, who had entered from 
the wharf, to greet then' friends, or to attend to subjects of 
business. By a fortunate coincidence, the first physician who 
was found, was the same who had attended Robert at Mr. 
Carleton's, and he recognised his former patient. It was with 
difficulty he stanched the flowing blood, or roused him from 
the insensibility in which he had fallen. He saw it was a 
much more dangerous attack than the former one, and that 
his life hung on a frail dependence. Despatching a messen- 
ger to Mr. Carleton to inform him of the event, he walked 
by the side of the litter, on which the young man was slowly 
and gently borne, counting his faint and wavering pulse, fear- 
ful lest every beating should be the last. With what feelings 
Emily beheld the pale and blood-stained figure of Eobert 
G-raham, brought thus suddenly to her door, and heard the 
cause of his deadly hemorrhao-e, it would be difficult to de- 
scribe. The captain of the Red Rover, who had assisted in 
bearing the litter, and who felt deeply interested in the fate 
of the young man, related to her the supposed death of the 
young girl, whom she identified at once as her childhood's 
friend. Emily loved Linda too truly, and had loved her too 
long, not to listen with agony to these details. Terrible must 
have been the trials that had driven her, in frenzy, to seek the 
grave of the suicide ; and in the bitterness of her heart she 
prayed that retribution, Heaven's righteous retribution, might 
fall on the mercenary, arbitrary, and cruel woman, who had 
forced her to desperation, 

'^ And is not that retribution already begun V thought she, 
as she bent her weeping eyes on the almost lifeless form of 
Robert, on whose damp, white brow and ashy lips, death 
seemed to have set his signet-seal. ^' This blow will reach 
her heart, hard and stony as it is.^^ 

Mr. Carleton &poke of writing to Mrs. Walton, and inform 
ing her of the situation of her son. 



198 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

" Oh, Edmund — I cannot bear the sight of that woman," 
replied Emily, shuddering. ^' She has destroyed my friend. 
She is not worthy to be treated as a mother. She has dese- 
crated the sacred name." 

'^But still she is his mother; and the world might judge 
us harshly, Emily, if we suffered the son to die a lingering 
death in our own house, without warning her of his condition. 
Whatever may be her offences, and I believe them many, they 
will not absolve us from the performance of duty." 

" You are right," sighed Emily. ^^ You always are. But 
I feel as if those horrid white eyes would dry up my heart's 
blood. How can I receive as my guest the murderer of my 
friend?" 

Mr. Carleton wi'ote, and Robert lingered day after day, in 
a faint and languishing state. Still the physician cherished 
hopes of his recovery, if he were permitted to remain in per- 
fect quietude. Over the darkened chamber in which he lay 
brooded the stillness of death, interrupted only by those whis- 
pered accents and stilly steps that breathe and fall so gently 
round the bed of sickness. 

One morning as Emily sat by the bedside, believing him 
asleep, he turned towards her, drew back the curtain and held 
out his feeble hand. 

" You are very kind," said he, in a low voice. " Indeed, I 
wish you had been less tender of my life. I do not wish to 
live." 

^^ You must not talk," replied Emily. " The doctor has for- 
bidden the slightest exertion. Bemain quiet a few days 
onger, and you will soon be well." 

" Hark," cried Bobert, a sudden fire kindling in his sunken 
eyes, '' whose voice is that ? Let her not come near me. I 
will not see her, I never will see her again. Away, and tell 
her so " 

Emily started. She thought she distinguished the voice of 



OP THE BELLE CREOLE. 199 

Mrs. T\^alton in the room below. If its tones had thrown 
Robert into such violent agitation, her presence would be still 
more dangerous, and, fearful of the consequences that might 
ensue if she were suffered to enter his room, she hastened 
down stairs, and met the step-mother of Linda in the act of 
ascendino;. 

" Come in this room, madam," cried Emily, trying to hold 
down her swelling heart, " you cannot go up now." 

^' I want to go to my son,^^ she exclaimed. ^^ I must see 
him. I must see him immediately.^^ 

"Indeed you cannot, madam," replied Emily, in a more 
resolute tone. " The doctor has forbidden any one to ap- 
proach him but those who nurse him. The slightest agita- 
tion would cost him his life." 

" Who should nurse him but his own mother ? Who shall 
keep me from my own son?" and she again turned towards 
the stairs. 

" I, madam," said Emily, placing herself before the door, 
so as to impede her crossing the threshold. " Your son^s life 
has been committed to my charge by a watchful physician, 
and I will not see it endangered. Robert himself has com- 
missioned me to tell you that your presence would be insup- 
portable to him." 

It must be acknowledged that when Emily uttered the last 
words, she felt a kind of vindictive pleasure in wounding the 
pitiless woman where alone she was vulnerable. But she 
could not help softening a little when she saw her hard fea- 
tures working with anguish, and tears forcing their way 
through dry and withered channels. 

" My son shall not die without my seeing him," she sobbed, 

while her body rocked to and fro like a pine-tree in the storm. 

'^ He never sent me such a cruel message. He shall not die," 

she continued in a fierce tone, looking- hard and bitter at 

Emily. " He shall not die. His heart shall not break for 
13 



200 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

that wretcted girl, wlio has caused us all such misery and 
ruin.'' 

" Stop/' cried Emily, her large, dark eyes flashing with in- 
dignation. ^'Dare not accuse that injured, innocent creature 
of your own crimes. You drove her by your unrelenting per- 
secution from the home that should have been the shelter of 
her youth. You forced her to the desperate act of plunging 
into an element less cold than your own icy heart. But think 
not her spirit lies buried in her watery grave. No ! It stands 
before the bar of its Maker, ready to denounce you as a mur- 
derer, a,t the judgment day." 

^^ Emily, -32mily !" cried her husband, entering at this mo- 
ment. '^ You know not what you say." 

She was indeed excited beyond the power of self-control, 
but the loved voice of her husband subdued her at once. 

" Let her not see him," she whispered, " he forbids it. It 
would kill him. Reason with her, Edmund, I cannot." 

Mr. Carleton tried to follow Emily's advice, but Mrs. "Wal- 
ton was in no state to listen to reason. After suffering days 
of torturing anxiety at home, she had learned of Robert's 
route before the arrival of Mr. Carleton' s letter, and com- 
menced her journey. During her passage, she had heard of 
the reputed death of Linda, and the dangerous sickness of 
Robert, and the gnawings of a deathless worm began to eat 
into her heart. ^' Mother, mother ! this is your work," kept 
ringing in her ears. She felt the clenching hand upon her 
shoulder, the blazing eyes burning on her soul. She remem- 
bered, too, the words of Linda, — " I would sooner exchange 
these sad-coloured robes for my grave-clothes, than put on the 
wedding finery you have purchased ;" and conscience brought 
before her the image of that fair young form lying in the sad- 
coloured robes, which proved its grave-clothes, below the 
gurgling waters 3 its beautiful ringlets matted with sand, and 
it& cheeks empurpled by a death of violence. 



or THE BELLE CREOLE. 201 

" I must see my son/' -was the reiterated reply to all Mr. 
Carleton's persuasion and arguments; and pitying the wretclied 
woman, lie promised that she should see him when he slept, 
if she would refrain from any manifestation of feeling that 
might endanger his life. He urged her to seek rest and re- 
freshment herself, for she was evidently exhausted for want of 
both. 

It was not till hours after her arrival, that Mr. Carleton 
ventured to fulfil his promise, but Robert having fallen into a 
deep and tranquil sleep, the effect of an anodyne given to 
quiet his agitated nerves, he thought it the most favourable 
moment to admit her. Slowly and with trembling steps she 
approached the bed, on which the one idol of her soul lay ex- 
tended, with a ghastly pallidness and corpse-like rigidity of 
attitude appalling to the eye. The loss of so much blood 
had given his complexion that cold, waxen appearance peculiar 
to the dead, and this pallor was mournfully contrasted by the 
heavy masses of black hair that fell back from his marble 
brow. The eyes from which the fiery soul was wont to 
sparkle and burn were peacefully closed; and as the long 
lashes swept the colourless cheeks, they shed over the whole 
countenance an air of gentleness and sadness inexpressibly 
touching. His pale hands were folded across his breast. It is 
no wonder his mother thought she was gazing on a corpse. 

'^ He is dead \" she screamed, " he is dead \" and struggling 
with Mr. Carleton, she attempted to throw herself on his body. 
Awakened by the wild shriek from his death-like lethargy, 
Kobert started, and tried to rise on his elbow. 

^' Oh, Robert ! Robert V she cried, breaking violently from 
Mr. Carleton's grasp, and sinking on her knees, she wrapped 
her arms round her son. ^'They tried to keep me from you. 
They would not let me come. But you live. I have found 
you, my son, my son ! I never will leave you more.'' 

"Away !" cried he, tossing his arms wildly above his head, 



202 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

his eyes kindling with maniac frenzy. " You are no mother 
of mine. I disown you for ever. You made me what I am — 
your co-murderer and fellow-labourer in cruelty and guilt, I 
loved her, and would have saved her from myself, but you 
would not let me ; you dragged me with you to the gulf of 
perdition ; and when, through all eternity, I am sinking lower, 
and lower, and lower, I will cry into the ear of the Almighty, 
^ It was a mother's hand that plunged me here, a mother who 
cursed her son.' '' 

As with supernatural strength, Robert poured out this fear- 
ful denunciation, his mother's arms gradually relaxed their 
hold, her features began to writhe like a scroll in the flames, 
and she fell back in violent convulsions. The eyes of the 
young man followed while they bore her distorted figure from 
the apartment, then sinking back upon his pillow, the red 
stream forced from its natural channel by the strong hand of 
passion again oozed from his lips. 

^^ This is dreadful,'^ exclaimed the doctor, when, called to 
the bedside, he counted with anxious heart his patient's lan- 
guid pulse. '^My positive commands have been disobeyed, 
and I can no longer assume the responsibility of his life. No- 
thing short of a miracle can save him now.'' 

'^ Have I killed her ?" whispered Robert, opening his dim 
'syes, 

" No, no, she is better. She is not in danger. Compose 
jrourself. For Mrs. Carleton's sake, if not for your own. She 
is well nigh in a state of distraction herself." 

Robert gave a faint pressure of the doctor's hand, in token 
of acquiescence, and once more all was quietude and stillness. 
Mrs. Walton, after passing from one terrible spasm to another, 
at length sunk into a comatose state, in which she lay for 
many hours. When roused from this torpor, she showed no 
consciousness of the past, and evinced no desire to be with 
her son. Whenever his name was mentioned, she was seized 



OP THE BELLE CREOLE. 203 

•witli 1 nervous trembling, as if her fibres were still quivering 
from his filial curse. Emily, who could not help pitying the 
wretched woman, saw that every necessary care and attention 
were bestowed upon her, though her individual kindnesses 
were lavished upon Robert. Again the hopes of the physician 
revived, who, to guard his patient more effectually from in- 
trusion, had taken up his abode at Mr. Carleton's, and slept 
in the same room. 

There was another gentleman visiting at IMr. Carleton's, 
who manifested a deep and increasing interest in the young 
invalid. He was a clergyman of the name of Eayner, a dis- 
ciple of Wesley, and imbued with all the fervour and zeal 
which characterize the sect to which he belonged. He had 
known Emily from childhood ; and, being a particular friend 
of her father, was invited to make her house his home during 
a visit to the city. Emily felt as if she would have sunk un- 
der the cares and anxieties gathering over her, were it not for 
the pious counsels and sustaining prayers of this excellent 
man. 

One night Robert awoke from a deep sleep, with a low 
murmuring in his ears. By the faint light of the lamp burn- 
ing in a distant part of the room, he saw a figure kneeling 
near his bed-side, with head gently thrown back and hands 
clasped together, raised in the attitude of supplication. 

'^Father of mercies!'' uttered a low, deep, solemn voice, 
" I ask not for this young man long life, but life for ever- 
more." The lifted hands slowly drooped; the head bent for- 
ward and rested upon them ; there was silence a few moments. 
^^Oh ! thou friend of sinners !" continued the voice ; but now 
its deep tones faltered — " forgive his sins ! Thou who didst 
hush the raging billows with thy divine breath, speak peace 
to this troubled heart, and make it a temple meet for thy 
glorious presence." 

Again the bowed head leaned on the supporting hands, and 



204 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

notliing Tbroke the silence but the sighs of the supplicant, and 
the breathings of him for whom those prayers were offered. 
Robert lay, unwilling to break, by a word, the holy spell that 
bound his senses. The kneeling figure, but dimly seen by the 
twilight-rays of the distant lamp, with the long, dark hair 
meekly parted on the serene, religious brow — the low, solemn 
accents, breathing up fervent orisons for him, touched him 
with feelings never known before. All his past life, concen- 
trated in one .dark, stormy scene, rose before him with appal- 
ling distinctness. His prayerless, godless course, from his 
tyrannical selfish childhood, wild passionate youth, to the 
tempestuous morning of manhood, passed like the phantas- 
magoria of a dream before the awakening eye of conscience. 
Eternity, which always seemed a mighty shadow rolling at an 
immense distance, ever receding and often melting away in the 
mist of time, appeared a tremendous reality in the midst of 
vanishing shadows, on which was stamped, in blazing cha- 
racters, the name of a forgotten God. 

" You have prayed for me,'^ said he to the minister, ex- 
tending his feeble hand. " Man of God, teach me to pray, 
for my soul is sick with the burden of its sins.'' 

The good and pious Rayner wept with joy as these words 
fell from the lips of the invalid. From that moment there 
was a sacred bond of sympathy between the two, that drew 
them closer and closer to each other, and many a scene passed 
within the walls of that sick chamber that the angels of hea- 
ven witnessed with rapture. A miracle, too, seemed wrought 
on the languishing frame of the young man. Youth, and a 
naturally powerful constitution, after struggling long with the 
debilitating influence of disease, were at last triumphant, and 
Robert rose from what was supposed his bed of death. 

As soon as he was permitted to converse, he sent for his 
mother, and asked her forgiveness for his violence with the 
gentleness and humility of childhood. She appeared but lit- 



OP THE BELLE CREOLE. 205 

tie moved. Indeed; tier countenance had worn a stupid, apa- 
thetic look ever since it was seen writhing in those terrible 
convulsions. Her memory seemed shattered. If she wanted 
to recollect any thing, she would put her hand to her head 
and look round her with a bewildered air. The only wish she 
expressed was to be at home — a wish in which Eobert united, 
as Mr. Rayner had promised to accompany him. 

' Leave me not," he cried ; '-'• friend of my soul, leave me 
not, lest,-with returning health, passion resume its unhallowed 
influence over my heart. Remain with me till my now un- 
steady steps have learned to walk in the narrow path they 
have so lately entered. Every earthly hope is buried in the 
grave of Linda ) but a holy flame is kindled from her ashes, 
that shall burn with undecaying fervour, till, through infinite 
mercy, I may meet her angel-spirit in the world above." 



206 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 



CHAPTER XYI. 

And where is Roland Lee; the young and gallant pilot of 
the Belle Creole ? 

"We will go back a little to record an incident which oc- 
curred to him the very evening he parted from Linda; at 
Mrs. Carleton's. 

When he arrived at his own room, he found a note request- 
ing him to repair to the Mansion House to meet an individual 
whose infirmities prevented him from calling on him. It was 
signed by the name of Hunly, a name strange to his ears ; 
but he did not hesitate to comply with the invitation, and 
soon he was ushered into the chamber, where Mr. Hunly re- 
ceived him, reclining on a sofa, his hands and wrists bandaged 
with linen, and a swathing band, also passing over one eye, 
surrounded his head. 

" One of the greatest privations I now suffer," said the 
gentleman, rising on his elbow and motioning Roland to a 
chair, " is my inability to offer my hand, in token of gratitude, 
to one who is the preserver of my life." 

Roland recalled the moment when, passing the burning 
wreck of the Belle Creole, he had rescued a scalded, drowning, 
moaning being, and bore him in safety to the opposite shore, 
and he was able to identify the sufferer with the man before 
him. 

"It is not until within a few days," continued Mr. Hunly, 
^^ that I have been in a situation to think clearly, so intense 
and unintermitted have been my sufferings. But I have now 
justified hopes of recovery, though I shall probably lose for 
ever the use of my right eye and of my left hand. Had it 
not been for you, I should have lost life itself. I have been 



OF TIEE BELLE CREOLE. 207 

inquiring for days after my deliverer, and it was not till tliis 
evening I learned where he was to be found/^ 

Roland expressed the pleasure he felt in meeting with one 
who, he feared, had died in protracted agonies, in animated 
terms. 

^' I thank yon, sir,'' said he, as if on him the obligation 
rested, "for remembering me, and making me so happy as 
to know that your life has been preserved ; for, indeed, it is 
an unexpected happiness." 

" I trust," said Mr. Hunly, his countenance, disfigured as 
it was, beaming with benevolent interest — " I hope you will 
not deem me actuated by impertinent curiosity, if I ask you 
whether you intend to continue in your present situation, and 
what your prospects and dependencies are V 

" I have nothing to depend upon but my own energies," 
replied Eoland, the ingenuous blood rushing to his cheek and 
brow. "I love the water, and would have sought my fortune 
at sea, but I could not leave a widowed mother sorrowing at 
home. As the best substitute for the ocean, I have chosen the 
father of ancient waters as my theatre of action, and I hope 
yet," he added, with one of those smiles which gave such 
an irresistible charm to Koland's face — " I hope yet to tread 
one of its floating palaces with the step of a master." 

" You mean the owner, as well as the master," said Mr. 
Hunly, raising himself to an upright position on the sofa. 

"Yes, even that I aspire to, though it will probably be 
many years before my hopes are realized. But I am very 
young, and with youth, health, strength, and sanguine tem- 
perament and a buoyant spirit, I feel as if I had an inheritance 
direct from the Almighty, at compound interest, too, which 
will increase in value as time passes on." 

" You have, young man," answered the invalid, with em 
phasis, "the best inheritance in the world. I had rather a 
son of mine, if I still possessed such a blessing, should start 



208 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

in life with such a capital than the largest fortune of the 
South. But there was a young girl/' he added, ^^ who was 
your companion, in whom I felt deeply interested. Though 
I could not see in those hours of agony, there was something 
in the sweet, pitying tones of her voice that I never can for- 
get. She tore her handkerchief and yours, too, in bandages, 
and bound up my bleeding hands with such a soft and gentle 
touch it seemed to mitigate my excruciating pangs. Is she 
your sister ?" 

" No, sir," replied Roland, his voice trembling with emo- 
tion ; " she is one whom I was so blessed as to save from the 
wreck. Her father perished in the river after passing through 
the dreadful element of fire." 

"Is she poor?" 

" No, sir ; a wealthy heiress." 

" Indeed !" cried Mr. Hunly, with a pleasant smile. 
"I don't think she could give a better proof of her gra- 
titude, than to give herself and fortune to her young pre- 
server." 

" I should scorn to take advantage of her gratitude, even 
if such a thing were possible," said Eoland, with a dash of 
haughtiness in his manner, that did not lower him in Mr. 
Hunly' s estimation. 

^' You are right — you are right," said Eoland's new friend. 
" I like your spirit. But it seems to me, if I were a young 
heiress, I could give you myself and fortune, from a more 
powerful motive than gratitude, and feel that I was conferring 
no favour. But I do hope you will not scorn every offering 
made by a grateful heart, for I shall never be satisfied till I 
have done something for him who redeemed me from certain 
destruction, and lavished upon me those tender cares which 
were necessary for the continuance of my life." 

^' Do not, I entreat, sir, speak of repaying me for such an 
act I should have been a monster if I could have suffered 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 209 

a human being to perish, whom I had the power to relieve. 
I am more than repaid by the pleasure of this moment/^ 

^^ But I am rich. I could almost do anything for your 
advancement, without impoverishing myself/' 

^^ Thank you, a thousand times, sir, for the generous ivish,'^ 
cried Roland, involuntarily extending his hand, forgetting he 
could not grasp that of the invalid ; '^ but let the deeds be 
mine." 

^^ I reside on the banks of the Mississippi,' ' said Mr. Hunly, 
after a pause. '^ You will find my direction on the card lying 
on the mantel-piece. Please take it, and put it in your pocket- 
book. And when you have leisure, you must come and see 
me. I wish I had a daughter for you, but as I have the mis- 
fortune to be a childless man, you must allow me to cherish a 
fatherly interest in your welfare. And when you see that 
sweet-voiced young lady, tell her the blessing of one who was 
ready to perish shall ever rest upon her." 

Roland remained till a late hour, pleased with the frank 
and cordial manners of his new friend. 

^'Farewell, my young friend," said Mr. Hunly, when Ro- 
land rose to depart ; " as soon as I am able to travel, I shall 
return to my plantation, where I hope soon to welcome you. 
In the mean time, if you should be in any sudden emergency, 
or require any assistance, call on my agent in New Orleans, 
whose name you will find on the back of my card. I feel an 
interest in you, beyond that inspired by personal obligation. 
I had one son, who, had he lived, would have been about 
your age. Had Heaven spared his life, and made him resem- 
bling you, my yearning heart would have asked no more. I 
cannot offer you this wounded hand, but take with you my 
grateful remembrance, my best wishes, and most fervent 
prayers." 

As Roland, much moved, bade him farewell, and was about 
to close the door, Mr. Hunly called him once again. 






210 LINDA ; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

"Don'fc forget my message to my sweet-voiced little nurse. 
I sliall expect to see her by your side^ one of these days, in 
your floating palace, on the father of ancient waters." 

'^ May youj words be prophetic V said Roland, with a bright 
smile, and while returning to his lodgings, he repeated them 
again and again to himself, and the inspiration of hope glad- 
dened his spirit and warmed his heart. 

Behold him, at length, launched on the bosom of the noble 
stream to which his youthful eyes have long been turned ! 
Though in a subordinate station, he wears that aspect of com- 
mand which speaks the " right divine" to rule. Ladies, who 
have caught a glimpse of the young pilot, like to walk the 
hurricane deck, and many a bright glance is turned to the 
green-railed enclosure where he watches the guiding wheel. 
He always appears in the dress of a gentleman, and his looks 
and manners are those of Nature's noblemen. They do not 
know that youth, beauty, and wealth, wreathed in a beauteous 
garland, have twined around his heart involuntary folds, like 
the vine clinging to the protecting tree. They do not know 
that he is already the hero of a pure heart's history, and that 
a pair of eyes, bright as heaven's own gems, are lifted nightly 
to the sky, to worship, with oriental devotion, the star conse- 
crated to his remembrance. 

Full and high were the turbid waters of the Mississippi, 
and as the boat floated majestically on its surface, it seemed 
borne above the level of the surrounding country. At unequal 
distances from the shore, was seen the embankment or levecj 
still wearing a greenish hue, though no longer brilliant with 
the emerald green of summer. The meadows, too, so rich 
and luxuriant at an earlier season, still rolled in their grassy 
covering, while here and there a magnificent live-oak, clad in 
perennial verdure, relieved the continuity of the scene. It 
was picturesque, the sight of the horsemen and carriages, just 
seen winding along the road above the levee^ like the heads 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 211 

of the Forty Thieves, in the grand melo-dramatic spectacle 
taken from that dazzling creation of oriental genius, the Ara- 
bian Nights. Large sugar plantations stretched along the 
shore, and the long, stately, regular rows of cane, running 
perpendicular to the river, seemed to open and close, as the 
vessel glided swiftly by. Rising, like a lofty Egyptian obe- 
lisk, from the roof of a broad, low, white building, appeared 
the immense chimney of the sugar-house, from which volumes 
of wreathing smoke curled beautifully on the dark blue sky. 
The sons of the Granite Hills, who had never travelled in 
these regions, and beheld, for the first time, those double rows 
of snow-white cottages, with neat pillared porticoes, separated 
by grassy streets, shaded on either side by beautiful china- 
trees, would learn, with astonishment, that they were the 
dwellings of slaves, who they are too prone to believe are no 
better provided with a home than the fowls of the air and 
the beasts of the field. In that neat embowered residence 
resides the overseer of the African labourers, who, with the 
eye of a task-master, directs their movements and portions out 
their food. But whose magnificent edifice is that, with white 
massy columns extending on every side, supporting a double 
piazza ? This was the question that Eoland asked, as his eye 
ran over the ample plantation and noble appurtenances, near 
which the princely structure rose. ^^It belonged to Mr. 
Hunly,'' was the answer; "a gentleman who came very near 
perishing in the wreck of the Belle Creole. '^ Boland's heart 
swelled at the thought, that, under Providence, he had been 
the means of saving the master of this splendid habitation, 
that he might enjoy yet longer the blessings a bounteous 
Heaven had so liberally bestowed upon him. He gazed with 
additional interest on the scene. Through the open windows 
he could see the gorgeous folds of the crimson curtains, 
glimpses of the costly furniture, and rich wrought carpeting. 
But the most beautiful feature of the scene was the garden 



'212 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

fronting tlie mansion, with its enamelled plats and graceful 
terraces, surrounded by a snowy railing, whose architecture 
must have been directed by poetic taste. Stretching between 
this and the river, that here swept in a magnificent bend, was 
a green sward, ornamented by double avenues of pecan-trees, 
whose light, wind-swept branches interlaced each other, and 
imprisoned the sunbeams that played amidst the leaves. Re- 
posing beneath the shade of the broad-spreading live-oaks, in 
the neighbouring meadows, lay the sleek, indolent-looking 
cattle, the domestic monarchs of the rural principality. 

^^Mr. Hunly,'^ continued the gentleman who had first 
spoken to Roland, " is one of the noblest, most liberal- 
hearted men of the South. He is one of the kindest masters 
in the universe, and his slaves may well rise up and call him 
blessed, as I have no doubt they will on the last day. He 
makes no show of his generosity, but it flows in living streams, 
making glad the poor and needy in the reach of his influence." 

^^It would be a fine thing to be the son of such a man," 
thought Roland, remembering his parting words : ^^ but I am 
glad to have the honour of calling him friend. Linda ! will 
his prophecy indeed be fulfilled ?" 

Week after week passed away, and the Evening Star swept 
on her upward or downward course, and naught occurred 
worthy of record, till one morning, just after a brilliant sun- 
rise, Roland again beheld the majestic dome of St. Charles 
and the lofty spire of St. Patrick rising on the eye, illumined 
with the rosy gold of morning, while interminable rows of 
buildings stretching below, looked like so many vassals wait- 
ing in attendant lines on these lordly and sun-clad potentates. 
Following the graceful bend of the river, which here curved 
in a crescent line, giving its name to the city located on its 
banks, the boat approached the wharf, where the representa- 
tives of earth's varying nations were promiscuously assembled. 
The animated and elastic-limbed Frenchman, the ruddy and 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 213 

sturdy-framed Englishman^ the sanguine L-ishman, the phleg- 
matic and thoughtful Grerman, the yellow-haired Scotchman, 
the dark-eyed Creole, and the ebon-skinned African, all min- 
gled there, like the party-coloured leaves of an autumnal 
forest. 

As Roland sprang on the wooden platform on which the 
"boat was discharging its heavy freight, he was tempted to close 
his ears with his hands, to shut out the Babel sounds of so 
many different languages, assailing him on every side. He 
happened to stand near a very peculiar-looking man, whose 
characteristic traits were oblique glancing eyes, and fiery, brist- 
ling hair. Just at this moment, a newsboy came along with 
a large bundle of papers, on which the ink was scarcely dried. 
Roland purchased one of these, that he might have something 
to abstract his mind from the motley group around him. 
Carelessly opening the damp sheet, his eye glanced over the 
columns, when suddenly it was arrested, and his cheek and 
lips turned the hue of clay. Unconsciously grasping the 
arm of the stranger, he exclaimed, " Almighty Father ! can 
this be true V 

The red-locked individual, whose eye had followed Roland's, 
and rested on the same article, struggled to release himself, 
looking from one side to the other in evident perturbation. 
^' I know nothing about it, nothing at all,^^ he cried ; '' why 
do you ask me ? Very shocking thing, very shocking, indeed." 

Roland noticed not, when the wily Scotchman, sliding from 
his hold, plunged into the thickest of the crowd. Still his 
glazed and burning eyes were fixed on that fatal paragraph, 
that seemed written in characters of fire. It referred to the 
mysterious disappearance and supposed death of a young lady 
on board the Red Rover, whose name was ascertained to be — 
Linda Walton. It described also the singular personal ap« 
pearance of the gentleman who was her companion. 

^' It was he," exclaimed Roland. "It was he whose arm 



214 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

I grasped ;" and darting like a madman into the midst of the 
throng, he looked on the right and the left for the red-haired 
stranger, who had eluded his grasp. In vain he pressed for- 
ward and sent his frenzied glances through that human forest, 
till, panting, suffocating, scarcely able to breathe, he rushed 
back to the boat, and shutting himself in his room, he locked 
the door and threw himself reeling on the bed. Long he lay 
in a state resembling stupefaction, stunned, benumbed by the 
suddenness of the blow; but as the blood gradually receded 
from his hot and oppressed brain, and he was able to think of 
the intelligence that had threatened to dethrone his intellect, 
he could not, he would not believe it. 

■ "No, no," cried he, ^^she never would have destroyed herself. 
She loved me too well to inflict upon me such a bitter curse. 
This is rumour, falsehood. It is not, cannot be true. By the 
deathless love that burns in this throbbing heart, — by the hope 
that keeps me from perishing, I feel, I know she lives. '^ 

But while he uttered these words, his clenching hands and 
scalding tears belied the truth of the asseveration. Yes ! the 
bold, brave Roland, smitten to the heart's core, as the convic- 
tion forced itself upon him that she must be lost, gave way to 
a burst of anguish that shook the couch on which he lay, and 
convulsed his frame with ague-like paroxysms. All day he 
remained in his lonely berth, refusing to answer the knocks 
and calls at his door, for it seemed sacrilege to him for human 
eyes to see the depth of his sorrow. It was not until the 
next morning, when the voice of his captain called his name, 
in a clear, commanding accent, that he came forth, ready to 
take his station at the helm. The captain recoiled at the sight 
of his blood-shot eyes and ashy complexion. 

'^Koland Lee," said he, taking his feverish hand; ^^you 
are ill. Another must take your place at the helm." 

Roland bowed, pressed his hand, drew his hat over his eyes, 
and passed out in silence. In silence he sought his accustomed 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 215 

position^ and looking out once more on tliat dark element, the 
object of his boyish enthusiasm, cold shudders ran through 
his veins. Grracefully the Evening Star swept round the cres- 
cent arch, commencing her watery course, and beautifully the 
foam dashed against her sides : but Koland saw in every crested 
wave, only an image of the cold pall that mantled the bosom 
of Linda ; in the murmuring of the waters, he heard nothing 
but her dirge, and where, a short time before, he had witnessed 
beauty and magnificence, he now beheld naught but desola- 
tion and death. 

" I cannot give thee up, my beloved,'^ he cried, in sad com- 
munings with his own spirit. ^^ I will seek thee in the waters, 
I will seek thee in the wilderness, nor resign thee till I find 
thou hast made thy grave beneath the cold dashing of the one 
or the falling leaves of the other." 



CHAPTER XYIl. 



Linda not only found rest, but comfort and kindness in the 
cabin of her Indian friends. Tuscarora, her nocturnal guide, 
and Naimuna his wife, were both civilized. In his youth he 
attended school with the sons of the white men, and was taught 
to worship the Grod of the Bible, but he could not subdue his 
love for the free, roving life of the Indian. He returned to 
the wilderness, accompanied by a young wife, who panted like 
him for a home in the forest, where she could live unfettered 
by the artificial restraints of civilized life. But they were 
known and respected by the white race. The hunter, weary 
from the chase, loved to rest in the. cottage of Tuscarora. 
The wanderer sought refuge under his roof, secure of a wel- 
come and a shelter, and the youth who wanted to learn the 
14 



216 LINDA; OR; THE YOTJNG PILOT 

track of the deer, or the place wliere tlie wild turkeys hid, was 
sure to ask the services of the friendly Indian. 

Linda was ushered into a more comfortable apartment than 
the one where she was laid on her bed of furs. 

^^ You were cold and faint/^ said Naimuna, '^ and we feared 
to put you where there was no fire to warm you. You looked 
so pale and white, I counted your pulse while you slept, to 
see if there was life in your veins. Ah ! you must have suf- 
fered much, to he alone in the woods, at the dark hour when 
you met Tuscarora.'^ 

^^ I have indeed suffered much,'^ answered Linda, shudder- 
ing ; '■'- and had it not been for your husband, I should have 
perished in the woods. ^' 

'-'■ You have no mother," said the gentle Indian, ^^ or you 
would not have been left to wander.''^ 

^^ Alas — no ! I have neither father nor mother, and they 
who should protect me have driven me from my home. Think 
not evil of me, kind woman, because I came here a friendless 
wanderer. I fled from one," — here her languid eyes kindled 
and her cheek glowed, — ^^ one, who promised to guard me, but 
who proved false to his trust. Now, that I can reflect calmly 
on what I might have done, I know I could have sought the 
protection of the captain in whose boat we sailed, and I would 
have been safe, but I was wild with terror, and thought only 
of escaping from the place where he breathed. I have friends 
who would seek me at their life's peril, did they know where 
I am, but when will they find me, and how shall I make known 
to them the place of my refuge ?" 

" Remain with us," said Naimuna, ^^ till they learn you are 
in the home of Tuscarora. You shall sleep in this room on 
a bed of moss, and I will wait upon you and wash your linen 
in the clear water of the spring. Tuscarora has fleet horses 
that can carry letters to your friends. There isn't a path from 
here to the great river that his foot has not trod." 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 217 

'^ You are kind, you are good/' cried Linda, pressing tlie 
dark hand of the Indian in hers, and fixing her eyes, moistened 
with tears of gratitude, on her mild and pensive features. 
" I know you do not deceive me, as others have done. I was 
on my way to the great river, for my kindred live upon its 
shores. If Tuscarora can help me on my journey, he shall 
find that I not only have the will but the power to reward him.'' 

^^ Tuscarora would ask no reward,'' replied Naimuna ; ^' he 
has studied the great book of the white man, and loves to do 
good, because it makes his heart feel warm and light in his 
bosom." 

" Oh, warm and light must be his heart this morning !" ex- 
claimed Linda. The stately tread of Tuscarora was now 
heard in the cabin, and with feelings of the deepest respect, 
as well as gratitude, she greeted the Christian Indian. 

He was clad in the usual garb of a hunter, and instead of . 
the single, gallant scalp-lock which distinguished the warlike 
chief of the red men, his long black hair, glossy and unshorn, 
softened the stern outline of a face marked with the peculiar 
lineaments of his race. The independent spirit of the wilder- 
ness, untamed by the restraints of his boyish years, shone from 
his quick-glancing eye, but the expression of placid melan- 
choly lingering round the mouth reminded one of the wrongs 
and degradation of his once lordly nation. He was one of 
that small number who have acquired the virtues of the white 
man without his vices, for he looked upon strong drink with 
horror, and the simple word of Tuscarora was equivalent to a 
bond. 

When Linda told him of the locality of her Louisianian 
home and her anxiety to reach it, she was astonished at the 
map-like distinctness with which the course was marked on his 
memory. He knew the winding of every stream, the path 
through every wood, every place where the traveller could find 
nightly rest ; in short, with a guide like him, Linda thought 



218 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

every r^ugli place would be made smootli; and every intricate 
one clear. But she dared not ask a favour so immense, for 
there was something in his majestic demeanor that forbade her 
from offering a pecuniary return. Tuscarora's penetrating eye 
interpreted her anxious and embarrassed countenance. 

'^ I will guide you to your friends/' said he, with dignity, 
'^ when you have rested awhile with Naimuna. I have horses 
as fleet as the wind and gentle as the moon. If the white 
stranger is accustomed to the bridle and the rein, she will be 
as safe on the steeds of Tuscarora as when rocked by the 
breezes to sleep.'' 

^' How shall I thank you for your generous offer V asked 
Linda, charmed with the metaphorical language of the Indian. 
^^ Hoiv can I make such a demand on your time ? and how can 
Naimuna be left so long alone V 

Tuscarora smiled. ^' The wife of a hunter fears not a lonely 
hearth. I have business myself where the Red River pours 
its waters into the Mississippi, and if the white stranger did not 
accompany me, I should traverse the woods and the hills alone. 
We shall have no rain to delay us, for when the moon was no 
larger than a silver bow it hung drooping in the sky, and the 
horn of the hunter could not rest upon its curve. It is now 
large and round, and will light us on our journey." 

^' Oh, then let us start to-morrow," cried Linda, " for here I 
dread pursuit. The rustling of the leaves make me tremble. 
The sudden barking of the dog causes my heart to stand still." 

^^ You are safe with Tuscarora wherever you are," answered 
the Indian, proudly. ^^ The white man lives not who could 
stand the stro'ke of this arm, when raised in defence of the 
weak. But I must first go to the city ; and it will take the 
time between the rising and setting of two suns to go and re- 
turn. I must provide for Naimuna during my absence, and 
the white stranger must have a saddle to cradle her, before 
she mounts the hunter's steed." 



or THE BELLE CREOLE. 219 

Linda started. Slie could accompany him to Mobile. She 
could place herself under the protection of Mr. Carleton and 
Emily^ and thus escape a long and perilous journey. But 
would she be safe there ? No. Robert and her step-mother 
would pursue her there, and perhaps the terrible Scotchman. 
She dared not hazard it. Better to brave unknown dangers, 
than expose herself again to those she had already suffered so 
much to avoid. She regretted the necessity of delay, but felt 
that it was in vain to repine. She could not, however, allow 
Tuscarora to incur an actual expense for her accommodation, 
as her purse was still in her possession ; being in the bundle 
she had sufficient presence of mind to bear away in her flight. 
Blushing, she placed it in his hand, and requested him to pur- 
chase whatever was necessary for their journey. 

^' It is well,'^ said he, with grave dignity. ^^ I have furs 
sufficient to purchase all, but I will not refuse the request of 
the maiden." 

He left the cabin, and in a few moments he appeared 
mounted on a shining bay-horse, whose flowing mane and long 
sweeping tail had never been shorn of their native luxuriance. 
Swift as an arrow from his own bow, he darted from her sight, 
and the trees of the forest concealed his erect and stately 
figure. Thanks to the instructions of Bobert, Linda was a 
dauntless horsewoman, or she would have trembled at the 
thought of the equestrian journey before her. Her heart sunk 
at the certainty of passing two days in her present situation, 
though the kind Naimuna did all she could to ^' cheer her 
pensive guest." She fulfilled her promise, and washed her 
travel-soiled garments, and made them as white and smooth as 
if they came from the hands of an experienced laundress. 
"When night came, and the pine-knots blazed in the chimney, 
Linda, remembering the terrors of the preceding night, sat 
pale and trembling, filled with indefinite alarm. 

"Be not afraid," said Naimuua, ^^no one would dare to 



220 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

molest the calbin of Tuscarora; and if they dared they would 
not -wish to do it, for he is kind to all, and who would wish to 
harm the poor man's friend 1" 

Linda tried to smile, but her eyes filled with tears, and she 
drew her ringlets over them to hide them from the gentle 
savage. 

'' Let me brush these beautiful locks,'' said Naimuna, tak- 
ing Linda's brush that lay ujoon the table, and passing it 
softly over her drooping head. " When Tuscarora is weary 
from the chase, he loves to have me comb his long black hair, 
for it makes sleep come down on his eyelids." 

Linda assented by another tearful smile, and Naimuna, 
kneeling on a low seat, began to smooth the soft tresses of 
golden brown, and twist them in shining coils round her 
tawny fingers. Seen by the ruddy light that illumined every 
chink and corner of that log-cabin, they would have made a 
beautiful subject for the painter's canvas. The hair and eyes 
of Naimuna were of gipsy blackness, and round the former 
was twisted a kerchief dyed with those brilliant colours which 
the children of the forest love to gaze upon. Her smooth, 
bronze cheek almost touched the alabaster brow of Linda, 
whose eyeS; half-veiled by their long lashes, and surcharged 
with mournful memories, were fixed upon the blaze. Her 
mourning dress was exchanged for a white night-wrapper, 
which falling loosely from her neck revealed its unsunned 
snow. Her fair hands were clasped over her knees, and no- 
thing could be more child-like and graceful than the listless- 
ness and abandonment of her attitude. As Naimuna continued 
to burnish her thick, clustering hair, her senses yielded to the 
soothing influence of the gentle passes, and her eyes gradually 
closing, her head bent lower and lower, till it rested on the 
shoulder of the Indian. Naimuna looked down upon her, as 
she lay like a weary child slumbering on its nurse's arm, with 
feelings resembling worship. She longed to kiss the rosy lips 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 221 

whose pure breath stole so softly over her cheek, but there was 
such an angelic innocence diffused over her face that she would 
have deemed it profanation in one of darker hue to approach 
them. Long she remained in her kneeling position, unwilling 
to move, lest she should disturb the slumbers she loved to 
watch, when, by an involuntary movement, she startled the 
sleeper, who lifted her head and looked round her with a wild 
and frightened expression. When she realized the kindness 
that had pillowed and guarded her sleep, she said : 

" Forgive me for having wearied you so much. I did not 
know that I was falling asleep, or I should have sought my 
bed." 

^^ I never should be weary while you rested on me,'^ replied 
Naimuna. ^' I have been thinking, and wondering how any 
one could be so cruel as to grieve you, and make you a vfan- 
derer here." 

" Some have been cruel in their hate, and others in their 
love," sighed Linda, '' but I forgive them for both. Do you 
fear when Tuscarora is absent V 

" No," answered Naimuna, with a smile. " Why should I 
fear ? I should not be safe in his presence if G-od did not 
take care of me." 

The simple, confiding faith of the Indian rebuked the ap- 
prehensions of Linda, and, lying down on bar m.ossy couch, she 
slept tranquilly till the breaking day. 



222 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 



CHAPTER XVni. 

The morning arrived for Linda's departure. Tuscarora ap- 
peared, holding in each hand a bridle rein, which passed over 
the necks of two superb-looking animals — one, the noble bay 
which bore him to Mobile, the other a dappled gray, furnished 
with the side-saddle he had purchased for the ^^ white stran- 
ger's'^ use. Tuscarora had told her to be ready by the time 
the shadows began to roll from the hills, and she rose by the 
light of the moon, so fearful was she of detaining her guide. 

As Tuscarora stood between the two steeds, their long wav- 
ing manes sweeping against him — his long, black hair flowing 
as free and luxuriant — there was something so commanding in 
his attitude, so striking in his appearance, Linda could not 
help gazing upon him with admiration. Proud of the guardian- 
ship he was about to assume, he had donned something of his 
aboriginal costume, which set off to great advantage his erect and 
symmetrical figure. A rich wampum girdle belted his waist, and 
moccasins, wrought with stained porcupine quills, encased his 
feet. A hunter's pouch, variegated with the same brilliant 
colours, swung from his shoulder, and in his left hand he 
grasped a rifle. 

Linda stood on the threshold holding the hand of Naimuna, 
whose soft, black eyes were brimming with tears. 

'^ You must come and live near me on the banks of the 
Mississippi," said Linda. '^ When I once find a home of my 
own, I want to gather round me all who love me and who 
have been kind. You have been more than kind, and for 
your sake I shall love the whole Indian race. Indeed, you 
must come to Louisiana. Tuscarora will find better hunt- 



OP THE BELLE CREOLE. 223 

ing groundS; and, if you should ever be in sorrow, I could 
then repay, in some measure, the cares bestowed on me." 

'^ If Tuscarora wills it, it would rejoice my heart,^^ replied 
Naimuna. Tuscarora, who had listened in silence, now spoke, 
looking round on the woods and then upward to the sky : " I 
am willing — I care not where my cabin stands, if it is built 
in the midst of the woods, not far from the murmur of the 
waters ; I care not for the boards that shelter me — I live in 
the house of the great God wherever I am. His house is very 
large, and there is room in it for the white man and the red 
man, too." 

" We shall meet again, kind Naimuna," cried Linda, press- 
ing her hand and turning to Tuscarora. He leaned his rifle 
against his horse, and lifted her lightly on his dappled gray. 

" I will return, Naimuna, before another moon has filled 
her horn," said Tuscarora, looking back upon her as he wound 
into the path where the pine trees locked their branches. 

Linda's spirits rose with the rising sun. Its rays came so 
cheerily through the dark, pillared aisles of the forest, and 
the clear, morning air blew so freely on her cheek, that the 
roses came back to it with the freshness of vernal bloom. 
She loved tt? ride on horseback ; it had been one of the chief 
joys of her childhood to accompany Robert in his excursions 
about Pinegrove ; but she never knew what riding was till she 
had mounted Tuscarora' s dappled gray. It was, indeed, as 
he had described it, ^^ swift as the wind and gentle as the 
moon." 

" Surely I need not fear," thought she, glancing at her 
formidable-looking guide ; ^' bold, indeed, must be the wretch 
who would attack one protected by such a guardian. He is 
no traitor. Such a noble, steadfast mien as that never was a 
cloak to treachery and deceit. I would almost as soon doubt 
the truth and excellence of Eoland Lee as Tuscarora's." 

Her thoughts went out into the future, and in imagina- 



224 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

tion she built lierself a beautiful home where the breezes of 
the great river could fan it, and she wandered in its bowers 
with Pioland Lee by her side, the household god of her dwell- 
ing; and she erected a lonely cottage in the neighbouring 
woods, where the winds roared and murmured, and the voice 
of the waters made deep sounds in the night, where Tuscarora 
and Naimuna might revel in the freedom and exuberance of 
nature. 

At noon, they rested near a welling spring, and, seated on a 
mossy rock by the side of a fallen pine, partook of the re- 
freshments Naimuna had prepared. Never had Linda eaten 
with such a zest. The pure, bracing, odorous air of the pine, 
woods gave a fine edge to appetite, and nothing could be more 
delicious than the cold water gushing, like liquid silver, 
through the fissure of the rock. 

^^ I think I shall discard tables and chairs in future,'^ ex- 
claimed Linda, with a gay smile. " This old gray trunk looks 
so antique, and no velvet could be so rich as this cushion of 
moss. As for knives and forks, they are mere absurdities ; 
and who wants a glass when sitting by such a spring as this ?" 
And, bending from her rocky seat, she stooped to meet the 
gush of the rill, and drank. freely as it flowed. 

The Indian gazed with delight on his beautiful, young 
ward. He felt the charm of her innocent gayety the more, 
contrasting, as it did, with her former deep sadness. It 
showed, too, a confidence in his protection, which gratified his 
pride. He felt that he deserved it; but he had not expected 
such perfect reliance in one so young and sensitive. 

^^ God is good,^^ said he, looking round with a grave smile ; 
^^ but tJiey who dwell all the time in houses do not know how 
large the great Spirit is. They do not know how large their 
own spirits are. When I was a boy, I had to stay between 
brick wall^ and study my books, and they tried to make me 
think how much happier I was than if I were chasing the 



or THE BELLE CREOLE. 225 

deer in tlie woods^ or hunting the birds on the wing. A white 
man took me from my father when he was sinking in the land 
of shadows, and said he would educate me as his own son. 
He was kind, and I loved him ; hut I pined for my forest 
home. I went to him, and said, ^ You have taught me many 
grand and curious things, and I thank you. You have in- 
structed me to look for a more glorious heaven than the hunting- 
grounds of my fathers ; but I must go back to the woods, or 
I die. The streets are too narrow ; the houses too high } let 
me go and worship my God in the wilderness.^ The good 
man wept ; but he suffered me to depart. He now sleeps the 
gTeat sleep ', but I sometimes travel far away to his grave, 
and, listening to the wind sighing through the long grass, 
think it is his spirit that calls me.^' 

" You are grateful, Tuscarora," said Linda, listening with 
deepening interest to his grave and earnest discourse ; " and 
you must let me be grateful, too. You must let me build 
you a house after your own model, and you must bring Nai- 
muna and live in it, that I may see you and bless you all the 
days of my life.'^ 

" I haA^e thought of removing to the shores of the great 
river, and Xaimuna loves the white stranger.^' 

Refreshed and inspirited, Linda continued her journey — ■ 
her confidence in her Indian friend gathering strength with 
every sentiment he uttered. It was not till after the twilight 
began to fall that she became sensible of fatigue, and wished 
for a place of rest. 

" A few more miles, and we shall stop for the night,^^ said 
Tuscarora. " To-morrow we can ride into the moonlight.'" 

As the shadows grew deeper, Linda thought she heard the 
sound of trampling hoofs behind. They gained upon her ear, 
and, looking round, she perceived a horseman directly in their 
track. She thought only of the detestable Scotchman, and 
urged her horse into a more rapid motion. But the faster 



226 LINDA; OPt^ THE YOUNG PILOT 

they went, the faster the horseman pursued, till, perfectly ex- 
hausted, she suffered the reins to fall loosely on the neck of 
the horse, which, becoming weary, immediately slackened its 
pace. The horseman fell into a slow pace also, as if deter- 
mined to bear them company. She was ashamed to express 
her fears to Tuscarora, for it would imply a doubt of his pro- 
tection, and she rode on in silence, though her hands were as 
chill as ice, and she could hardly retain the bridle in her 
grasp. In a short time, a bright light glimmered on the eye, 
and they found themselves near a log-cabin, whose white- 
washed walls and broad wings promised a neat and comforta- 
ble resting-place. Had it not been for the dreaded horseman 
in the rear, Linda's heart would have bounded with pleasure 
at the familiar sounds that greeted her ear. A negro was sit- 
ting under the kitchen porch, playing merrily on the fiddle, 
while half a dozen black children were dancins; all over — the 
blaze of the pine knots illuminating the whole yard. One 
little negro girl, apart from the rest, all alone '^in her glory," 
was singing the popular African song — 

" Snake make a hoe-cake, 
Set a frog to mind it/' &e. 

As the horses galloped into the yard, for Tuscarora loved 
to make an impression, the dancing and music ceased, and the 
children gathered to gaze upon the strangers. When the In- 
dian lifted Linda from her saddle, she saw the stranger who 
had followed them dismount also, and her fears vanished, for 
he was tall and slender, and McCleod was short, with bix)ad 
shoulders and sturdy limbs. With a joyous spring, she 
crossed the threshold, and entered the pine-lighted room. 
Untying her bonnet and shaking back her wind-blown tresses, 
she stood a moment by the blazing hearth, grateful and happy 
that she had not encountered the face of her enemy. A tall 
figure entered, but it was not the lofty form of Tuscarora. 
She looked, she shaded her brow with her hand, then spring- 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 227 

ing forward; eanglit the stranger by both hands, and exclaimed 
— '' Mr. Longwood, my beloved instructor V Her choking 
voice could not articulate another word. Overcome by ten 
thousand emotions, she wept; but, amidst fast falling tears, 
smiles of gladness shone like April sunbeams. 

^^0 puella indclirissima,'' cried the well-known voice of 
Aristides ] " and do I behold thee once again ? But is this 
the little girl I have so often held on my knee, and whose 
childish eyes looked into my heart, while I talked to her of 
heavenly things ? Contremiseo tota menfe, et omnihiis artuhus — 
I am agitated in my whole mind and in every limb, as Cicero 
feelingly remarks. ^^ 

He drew Linda where the full effulgence of the fire fell 
upon her person, and twinkling away the tears that gathered 
into his deep gray eyes, perused the features whose juvenile 
outline was drawn in such gentle characters on his memory. 
Linda retained, in a remarkable degree, that dove-like expres- 
sion peculiar to childhood, and as her bright locks were still 
unshorn and unbraided, Aristides found no difficulty in iden- 
tifying the lovely being before him with the little Linda of 
Pine Grove. 

'^ How well you look V cried Linda, observing with delight 
that his cheeks were less hollow, and his eyes less sunken, 
than when she saw him last. The hectic spot no longer 
burned on his face, and his frame indicated more strength by 
its more upright carriage. 

" The Lord has been merciful to me," answered he. " I 
gained health in a milder clime; though for a long time I was 
hastening to a land of darkness and the shadoio of death, as 
Job pathetically expresses it. Yet, even when I was sunk 
lowest in despondency and gloom, the pulse of life grew 
stronger, and the blood began to flow quicker through my 
veins. Truly, the light is sweet, and it is a pleasant thing to he- 
hold the sun, as Solomon pertinently observes. I rejoice that 



228 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

I am permitted once more to behold tliy face, v'lrgo carissi- 
ma, else had I willingly laid down to rest in Cuba's wave- 
washed isle. Sed omnes una manet nox, et calcanda semel 
via led — there remains a common night to all, and the way of 
death must by all be trod, as Horace beautifully remarks/^ 

^^ But why have you not written to us, and told us that you 
lived, and that you had returned to your native soil ?" 

" I have written many times," replied Aristides, '^ but, re- 
ceiving no answer, thought you had forgotten your old teacher. 
Pulvis et umbra sumus — we are dust and shade, as Horace 
sententiously observes; and I imagined that I had passed 
away from your memory, like the sand blown by the wind, or 
the cloud before the breath of morning. I would have visited 
the old log school-house, when two years ago I came back to 
my native land, but I was told you were in the stranger's 
home ; and again I heard you were wedded to the wild 
boy who was the companion of your studies. But I find thee 
now, my dear little pupil that was, pidcliritudine eximia foemi- 
na — a woman of exquisite beauty, as Cicero gracefully ex- 
presses it. Whither art thou going, imella tenerrima, far 
from the home of thy youth V 

This sudden question came home to the heart of Linda, and 
she turned away her head, unable to s]3eak. 

^^Thou hast looked upon sorrow,'' said he, kindly taking 
her hand. " Thou art clad in a mourning garb." 

"I will tell you all I have suffered — for I know you will 
sympathize and counsel me," said Linda ; " but my Indian 
friend approaches. I will wait till we are again alone.'^ 

When Tuscarora entered, and beheld the white man seated 
by Linda with an air of affectionate familiarity, instead of 
looking upon him with the cold eye of a stranger, he walked 
straight forward and took him by the extended hand. ^^You 
are welcome," said Tuscarora. ^^ It is long since I have seen 
my brother." 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 229 

Linda learned witli pleasure that Aristides and Tuscarora 
were known to each other, that they had hunted together in 
the woods, and that, a year before, he had passed weeks in the 
cabin of Naimuna. He found his health injured by the se- 
dentary life he had led, and the physicians prescribing exer- 
cise in the open air, he had acquired an ardent love for hunt- 
ing, strange as it may seem, and while roaming the woods he 
had come in contact with Tuscarora, whose character charmed 
his pure and simple tastes. Having received a legacy from 
an uncle who had lately died in Texas, he was no longer com- 
pelled to tax his mind for his support, and, free from anxiety 
with regard to the future, he was cultivating health and cheer- 
fulness among the breezes of the South. Having arrived that 
morning at the cabin of Tuscarora, a short time after the tra- 
vellers had left, and having learned from Naimuna the mission 
on which her husband was gone, he at once determined to fol- 
low. A beautiful, unprotected girl by the name of Linda, as 
described by Naimuna, awoke many memories in his heart. 
There might be others who bore the same name, but there was 
but one Linda to him, his sweet and unforgotten pupil. 

After the travellers had partaken their supper, Tuscarora, 
with true delicacy of feeling, left the friends together, that 
they might speak unreservedly of the past. 

Linda found she had a difficult task to perform. To justify 
herself in the eyes of her instructor for the apparently bold 
step she had taken, she must tell all her persecutions, her suf- 
ferings and fears. Aristides listened with unspeakable inte- 
rest. He sat with his elbow resting on his knee, his head 
leaning on the hollow of his hand, and his gray eyes riveted 
on her face with a most intense expression. Every now and 
then he would lift his hands and ejaculate, "Ah J virgo in- 
felix !" and dashing away a tear, resume his attitude of deep 
attention. But when she came to the base treachery of the 
Scotchman^ his indignation knew no bounds. He started from 



230 LINDA ; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

his chair, his slender frame vibrated, his eyes gleamed darkly 
from under his contracted brows — ^^ Oh, miser ce sortis — oh, 
thou of unhappy fate!" he exclaimed; "to think of thy 
tender youth being exposed to such fearful trials I But ' Grod 
tempers the wind to the shorn lamb,' as the feeling Sterne 
hath uttered. His eye followed thee in the depth of the 
night-shades and the labyrinths of the forest. ^Duella 
dulcissima, my heart weeps over thy sorrows and thy injuries. 
Dux foemina facti — a woman the leader of this deed. I re- 
member her well. Her phrenological development was hi- 
deous — and cruel was the outline of her white brows." 

The sympathy of Aristides was peculiarly grateful to Linda, 
as she had many misgivings as to the propriety of the steps 
she had taken in leaving the paternal roof. She sometimes 
feared that even Koland would condemn her, and look coldly 
on the wanderer, doomed to such strange vicissitudes, through 
what he might deem her rashness and imprudence. Had she 
known that Robert was prostrate on a bed of languishment, 
hovering between life and death in consequence of her flight, 
bitter indeed would have been her anguish and self-reproach. 
When she retired for the night, it was with feelings of heart- 
felt gratitude. She had advanced safely thus far on her way, 
she was blest with another protector, for Aristides had ex- 
pressed his determination to accompany her to her journey's 
end. In her excitement at this unexpected meeting, she had 
forgotten her fatigue, and while preparing for rest, she warbled 
sweet snatches of songs, as she was wont to do in blither mo- 
ments. As her own notes died softly away, she heard a kind 
of monotonous chanting in the yard, and, raising the window, 
she saw an old negro woman with a shawl pinned over her 
ears, sitting near the kitchen door, in the light of the fii'e, 
rocking backwards and forwards, singing in a broken, tremu- 
lous, but devout tone, the favourite hymn of the negro Chris- 
tian. Many a time had Linda heard that hymn resounding 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 231 

from her father's kitchen, and the sounds came to her like a 
dream of home : — 

""Where's now the good old Daniel? 

"Where's now the good old Daniel ? 
He "went up from the den of lions, 
He Tvent up from the den of lions, 

Safely to the promised land ; 
There he'll sing and shout hosanna. 
There he'll shout and sing for ever, 

Safely in the promised land." 

Thus sung the ancient sybil; and went on with unwearied 
lungs through all the prophets and patriarchs, depositing them 
all safely in the promised land. The good old Moses , who went 
up from the top of JSfeho — the Hebrew children ^ who went up 
from the fiery furnace — the virgin Jiary^who went up -yrom the 
feet of Jesus — were made to pass through the same process of 
singing and shouting forever; and every time the burden of 
the hymn quivered on her tongue, the old negress shook all 
over with inward ecstasy and devotion. Who does not love to 
hear an African sing, has no music in his soul. Who does not 
love to hear from their lips the strains familiar to his child- 
hood, when sitting under the stranger's roof, has no feeling in 
his heart. Linda had both music in her soul and feelins; in 
her heart, and she leaned against the window, swimming on a 
tide of memory, till the songstress had disposed of all the 
Scripture worthies in that country of green fields and still 
waters for which the earth-worn pilgrim was doubtless 
panting. 

With the dawn of day the travellers were on their journey, 
and Linda, now doubly guarded, went on her way rejoicing. 
They were passing through a monotonous country, and nothing 
occurred worthy to be recorded in the traveller's diary. 

^' Is it not mortifying,^' said Linda, turning to Aristides, 

just as the sun was gilding the woods with his mellow, setting 

radiance^ ^^ that a young damsel, escorted by two such gallant 
15 



232 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

knights; should be permitted to travel in such unromantic 
safety ? No adventure to excite^ no danger to avoid !" 

'^ I love to see that merry smile," replied he ; ^^ it reminds 
me of days that are past. But I sometimes feel as if, when 
the rays are softest and the air most serene, invisible perils 
were waiting to destroy. Let me not, however, bring a 
shadow over the sunshine of your brow, alas ! too often clouded. 
Te liilari animo esse valde me juvat — that you are in gay 
spirits delights me, as Cicero pleasantly remarks." 

^^ Hush V exclaimed Tuscarora, catching the bridle of Linda 
so suddenly as to throw her horse back on its haunches. "Ad- 
vance not another step, or you perish." 

Scarcely had the words parted from his lips, when a girdled 
pine, whose tall, blasted trunk rose in melancholy majesty 
above its blackened and decaying roots, as if sustained by a 
single fibre, which suddenly snapped as the ground vibrated 
beneath the trampling hoofs, crashed, stooped, and fell directly 
in their path. There it lay, a gigantic ruin, its dry branches 
quivering like the limbs of a dying warrior struck down on 
the battle-field. Linda's nerveless hands dropped the reins, 
but the gentle gray attempted not to move. It seemed to be 
contemplating with astonishment and awe the sudden obstruc- 
tion that impeded its way. 

" I felt the shadow of this event coming across the setting 
sun," exclaimed Tuscarora, looking solemnly at the corpse of 
this monarch of the forest. 

'' Pestis enim tacitus latet aspera sylvis — a dreadful danger 
lies hidden in the silent woods, as Yirgil prophetically hath 
said," remarked Aristides, the ruling passion still prevalent. 

" How were you warned of the danger ?" asked Linda of 
Tuscarora. " Had not your arm arrested me at the very mo- 
ment, I should have been crushed under that fallen trunk." 

'^ I saw the bark move over the wounded part, and knew it 
was the last struggle of life," answered the Indian. "I've 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 233 ' 

noticed, too, that the aged tree waits till the sunset honr to lie 
down to rest. I was travelling once, and just as the last beam 
of day went out in the west, the breath of the Great Spirit 
moved over a dead pine, and it fell, crushing the horse that 
bore me. It struck me, too, and for the fii'st time in his life 
the arm of Tuscarora was weak." 

Thus saying, he bounded over the ruin, and his companions 
followed. They went on with quickened pace, but Linda gazed 
anxiously on every girdled trunk, and as the shades deepened, 
they appeared like threatening spectres frowning by the way- 
side. The imminent danger she had escaped sobered her feel- 
ings, and in proportion as her mind became less elastic, her 
body gTew weary. The night air also waxed chill and damp, 
and as the moon did not rise till a late hour, she could not 
hope for its cheering light. She had heard Tuscarora say 
that they must make a long day's joui*ney before they reached 
a shelter, and that it was a rough, uncultivated place. Once 
they passed an encampment in the woods, and brightly the 
great blaze kindled near the large covered wagons shone on 
the eyes of the travellers. Half a dozen white men and wo- 
men were seated round the fire, looking as wild as gipsies; 
and twice as many children, black and white, mingled together, 
were scattered about in various picturesque attitudes, their 
faces all lit up with resplendent lustre, and their eyes shining 
out like so many stars. Linda looked at them with envy, so 
bright and comfortable they appeared, and the flavour of broil- 
ing bacon that greeted most fragrantly their olfactory nerves, 
reminded her that it was long since her usual supper hour, and 
that she was not only weary, but hungry. 

^^ Uhinam gentium sumus — where on earth are we V asked 
Aristides, when Tuscarora suddenly turned towards a low, di- 
lapidated-looking hut, without shade or railing, and appearing 
perfectly uninhabited. 

" We must stop here/' replied the Indian, ^' or travel many 



234 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

miles farther in darkness. Our young sister will be sick. She 
is not like the hunter that knows not fatigue, and can make 
his bed of his saddle. What ho, there V cried he, giving a 
thundering knock at the door. " We want supper and lodg- 
ings for the night.'' 

There was a lumbering, shuffling sound within. A gleam 
of light was seen through the crevices of the walls, for there 
were no glass windows to be illumined, and the door was 
opened by a surly, ill-dressed man, who was evidently just 
awakened from sleep. A very coarse, slovenly-looking woman, 
with short, tangled hair, was sitting on the side of the bed, 
and another man, dressed in a hunter's frock, by whose side 
a fierce, shaggy dog was crouching, lay extended on the hearth. 
Linda, trembling with disgust and terror, clung to the arm of 
Aristides. 

" Let us not stay here," she whispered ; '' I am not so 
weary that I cannot ride much farther. The moon will rise 
soon. Let us go.'' 

" If she don't want to stay, she needn't," grumbled the 
man; ^^but there ain't another house for twelve miles, and 
there's a big creek to cross, with a broken bridge. It's a 
mighty dangerous place." 

" We will stay," said Tuscarora, " for the foot of the gray 
horse is lame. Have a fire kindled in the other room for the 
white stranger, and give her a bed to sleep on. We want 
supper, too, for we are hungry and would eat." 

The woman got up with a sulky air, and taking a pine torch 
from the chimney, left the room. The man went towards the 
chimney, and pushing the hunter vigorously with his feet, 

^' G-et up, you rascal," cried he, " and take your long legs 
out of the way. The young lady wants a seat by the fire." 

The sleeping man, thus rudely roused, uttered a shocking 
oath, and, rubbing his eyes, glared them on Linda like a wak- 
ing wolf. The dog, whose countenance was a fac-simile of 



OP THE BELLE CREOLE. 235 

his master^ s, rose on his fore-paws, and began a fierce, low 
growl ; but both master and dog retreated from the fire, leav- 
ing Linda and Aristides in possession of the hearth, through 
whose broken and irregular bricks the wind rushed, counter- 
acting the warmth of the blaze. Aristides drew forward a 
rough, wooden bench, and Linda sunk upon it with a deadly 
sickness at the heart, that sent a cold moisture to her brow 
and a dim mist over her eyes. He beheld with the tenderest 
compassion her pallid face and drooping form, and bending 
down whispered words of cheer and consolation. " 'Thou 
shalt not be afraid for the terror by night, nor for the arrow 
that flieth by day/ ^he shall give his angels charge over thee, 
to keep thee in all thy ways,' as the Psalmist piously ob- 
serves.'" 

In the mean time, preparations for supper were going on in a 
style congenial to the appearance of the inmates of the habi- 
tation. The woman, who answered to the name of Dorcas, 
prepared the repast, such as it was, for there were no negToes 
belonging to the establishment. Linda would have given half 
her wealth to hear the notes, " Snake bake a hoe-cake,'^ or 
the more solemn strains of " Grood old Daniel,'^ that greeted 
her ears the night before. When called to the table, she could 
not eat. Eashers of fat bacon, swimming in lard, broiled 
chicken, whose dying screeches seemed yet echoing through 
the yard, and pieces of burnt dough, constituted the supper. 
She drank a gourd of milk, but even that lost its relish from 
the dirty-looking, dingy, brown vessel which contained it. 

" Our young sister,^' said Tuscarora — Linda was glad to 
hear him calling her by a more afi'ectionate name than the tcJiite 
stranger — " our young sister does not eat. Her cheek is white, 
and I fear her heart is faint j she will be refreshed by sleep, 
and my brother also. I shall sit by the fire and think of 
their repose. '^ 

'' There is no need of that," said the man ; '^ you can have 



236 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

my bed. Dorcas and I are going out in the shed. There is 
a plenty good place there." 

^^ Where is the man who slept by the hearth with his dog V 
asked the Indian. 

^^ He's out in the shed, fast asleep agin, I warrant you," was 
the reply. " Little of a bed does he want. Why, he could 
sleep on the top of his rifle." 

The woman gave a hideous grin at these words, and, light- 
ing a little, dingy candle, offered to show Linda to her room. 
With faltering voice, Linda bade her companions ^^ good-night," 
and entered an apartment to which the dark, raftered room, 
where her step-mother once transferred her, was a palace. 

'^ You can leave me," said she, mildly, seeing that Dorcas 
lingered in her room. 

^^ That's a mighty fine watch !" said the woman, as Linda 
unwound the chain from her neck and laid it on the table 
^' There's a heap of gold in that 'ere chain, an't they ?" 

^^ No unusual quantity, I believe," replied Linda, and she 
could not forbear smiling at her look of stupid admiration. 

^^ Them are mighty fine things, too," she added, as Linda 
unclasped the bracelets from her wrists. They were a gift from 
Emily. The watch was the last present her father bestowed. 
Precious to her were these mementos, and, though she had 
left all superfluous articles behind, she had not forgotten these 
tokens of love. 

^^ You must be powerful rich," continued Dorcas, leaning 
her elbows on the table, then, squaring her broad chin on 
them, she stared up in Linda's face. ^^ An't you got a heap 
of money with you ? Where are you going to 'long with 
that big Injun and t'other odd-looking man V 

^^ I'm going a long journey ; but I am very tired, and would 
thank you, if you please, to retire, and let me sleep. We 
must start very early in the morning." 

^^ Well, I don't want to force my company on nobody," 



OP THE BELLE CREOLE. 237 

cried tlie woman^ tossing her liead. ^^ I'm as good as some folks, 
for all their fine watches and clasps and rings. I don't want 
to stay here, gracious knows ; hut Tm waiting for the candle.^' 

"I can jDut it out myself/' said Linda, with unconscious 
haughtiness, for the coarse familiarity of the woman disgusted 
and offended her. The woman went out, slamming the door 
after her, and Linda, seeing there was no lock, placed the table 
against the door, and a small trunk which she found in the 
room upon the table, as a kind of barricade against intrusion. 

" I will not undress,^' thought she, looking with a shudder 
on the comfortless bed, with its coarse woollen cover and 
brown sheets. " I will spread my shawl oyer the counter- 
pane and lie down as I am. Oh ! that the gentle Naimuna 
were near me, instead of this horrible woman !'' 

Thinking how the eyes of Dorcas had gloated on the watch 
and bracelets, she wound the chain of the one about her neck 
again, and clasped the other on her wrists. She might make 
an excuse to enter the room when she was asleep, and steal 
them from her. She would have left the candle burning, 
but it was a mere snuff, which would sink down, leaving an 
unpleasant odour. When she extinguished the light, she was 
glad to see the moonbeams streaming in through the apertures 
of the walls, making little silver bars on the opposite boards. 
She lay gazing on the white, glimmering lines till they seemed 
melting in one, and her eyes closed in sleep. 

Long after midnight, she was awakened by some one open- 
ing her door very cautiously ; but, cautious as the movements 
of the opener were, the weight against it made it grate very 
harshly on its hinges. Starting, she leaned forward, and saw 
by the flood of moonlight rushing in through the door, the 
figure of the hunter, who slept by the hearth, accompanied by 
the woman. The latter fumbled about the table, as if search- 
ino; for somethino^. 

^^ She's hid 'em," whispered she to the man, ^^or may bo 



288 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

slie^s got them on agin. I see her put ^em here. But her 
money is in that bundle, I know.^' 

The man here advanced to the bed, and met the gaze of 
Linda, whose eyes were fixed with that kind of fascination 
which draws the bird into the jaws of the serpent. But, as 
he came so near, the hot fumes of whisky burning in his 
breath were perceptible in the atmosphere. She sprang upon 
her feet with a wild and piercing shriek. 

" Hollow again, and I'll dash out your brains against the 
wall,'' cried the man, in a low, harsh voice, grasping her arm 
with the force of a vice. " I want nothing but your watch 
and money. Give 'em to me, and go to the devil, for all I 
care.'' 

Just as Linda was putting her trembling hands to her 
neck, in answer to the villain's threat, the inner door burst 
through with a loud crash, and Tuscarora, armed with his 
rifle, stood revealed in the moonlight. The wrath of the red 
man glittered in his eye. 

" Bog of a white man !" cried Tuscarora. '' Vile coward ! 
I spit upon you." And, advancing, with one sweep of his 
powerful arm, he felled him to the floor. The hunter, who 
was strong and fierce, sprang up and seized the Indian by the 
throat, who grappled with him like a lion. The savage na- 
ture of Tuscarora triumphed in this strife, and, uttering one 
of those yells which make the terrible battle-cry of the In- 
dian, he dashed his adversary against the wall, and planted 
his knee on his breast. Linda saw, but heard no more. Her 
senses forsook her under such an accumulation of horrors, 
and she was spared the deadly scene that ensued. 

When she recovered, she found herself supported by Aris- 
tides, on the wooden bench by the hearth. Tuscarora stood 
opposite to her, leaning on his rifle. His face had a kind of 
earthly hue, his eye had the cold sparkle of steel, and his 
hands were reddened with blood. 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 239 

^^ She revives/' lie uttered in a stern, hoarse voice. '^ Has 
my sister strength to ride V 

" Take me away from this dreadful place/' she cried. " I 
can ride — I can walk — do any thing but stay here.'' 

" Let my brother remain with her/' said Tuscarora, "while 
I bring the horses to the door. There may be a gang of 
these wretches, who, snuf&ng the blood of their comrade, will 
come down upon us like wolves." 

" Enter not into that room," cried Aristides, as Linda rose, 
to get her bonnet and shawl. " Tell me your wishes, and I 
will go — but turn not, look not there." 

Linda had already looked, and her blood froze with horror. 
Stretched right across the opening, for Tuscarora had burst 
the door from its hinges, lay the body of the hunter, ghastly 
and rigid in death, his right hand grasping a thick tuft of the 
Indian's sable hair, and the floor around him smeared with 
gore. While gazing on this dreadful spectacle, Tuscarora 
entered with hurried step, and, bringing his rifle down with 
a thundering sound, exclaimed — 

" Our horses are gone ! That vile man and woman have 
stolen them and fled. My brother's alone is left," 

Linda uttered a cry of anguish. 

" Oh ! let us fly," she cried, " from this house of blood ! — - 
I cannot stay in sight of that bleeding corpse !" 

Tuscarora approached the bed, and, drawing off a dark 
counterpane, spread it like a pall over the stififening body of 
the hunter. " We will cover the face of the dead," said he, 
" I destroyed the wolf to save my young sister from its fangs. 
I thirsted not for blood." 

His face had lost its expression of savage ferocity, and 
melancholy was stamped upon its features. 

"Hasten, my brother," said he, " and take her with you. 
Your horse will bear the burden of both. Follow the road 
that leads to the right, and seek shelter in the first house you 



240 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

meet. Tell tliem a wretch, slain in defence of the weak, lies 
unburied in this hut, and they will send and cover him with 
earth. I shall follow the track of the rohbers, and meet you 
when they have delivered up their prey." 

Shouldering his rifle and tightening his wampum-belt, Tus- 
carora strode out of the cabin. Linda clung to Aristides, en- 
treating him to depart, as if the avenger of hlood were already 
at the door. 

^^ Faster, faster," she cried, when they commenced their 
solitary ride. ^' Think not of me — I shall not be weary, 
though you go upon the wings of the wind." 

Aristides spurred his horse ; but it was one of those social 
animals that require the exhilaration of company, and its 
spirits drooped for the noble bay and the fleet-limbed gray. 
In vain the whip and the spur — it refused to go out of the 
moderate pace it had at first adopted. 

" If Tuscarora does not overtake the robbers, we are un- 
done," said Linda, in despairing accents ) '^ and if he does, 
there will be more blood and death. Oh ! that I had never 
left my home ! Truly did my step-mother say that I carried 
disaster and ruin wherever I went. Rash, misjudging girl 
that I was ; but I had no one to counsel me but my own 
weak heart." 

The stifled sobs, which she tried in vain to suppress, almost 
broke the feeling heart of Aristides. He wanted to console 
her, but his own nerves were terribly shattered by the scene 
he had just witnessed. He had a woman's horror of blood ; 
and yet, had not Tuscarora anticipated the deed, he would 
have rushed to the defence of Linda, and perilled his life to 
save her. He remembered what the man had said about the 
broken bridge and the swollen creek, and looked anxiously 
towards the moon, but it continued to shine with unclouded 
radiance high above the verge of the horizon. 

^^ I hear the murmur of water/' said Linda; after riding 



or THE BELLE CREOLE. 241 

wliat seemed to lier an interminable distance. ^^ I see its 
glimmer in tlie moonliglit.^' 

A sudden turning of the road brought them to the banks 
of the creek, whose ruined bridge, partly bright with silvery 
sheen, and partly black with contrasted shadows, in a calmer 
moment Linda would have contemplated with romantic 
interest. The current looked strong — the waters turbid. 
Linda shuddered at the thought of stemming the deep and 
angry tide. Aristides, too, paused on the brink, for he felt 
there was imminent danger of being carried down the stream. 

" If there was a possibility of your passing the bridge," said 
he, ^^I could venture across myself and meet you on the 
opposite bank. Nil desj^erandum. God protects those he 
loves." 

" Let me dismount and try the bridge," said Linda, '^ It 
almost reaches the opposite bank." In a moment her light 
figure was seen gliding along the ruinous-looking arch, and she 
soon reached the place where it had been broken by the rush 
of the waters. A rude railing had been constructed above a 
narrow plank, which rested on the naked pier, a frail footing- 
place, and Linda felt dizzy at the mere sight. How then could 
she venture to walk upon it with those dark waters dashing 
below ? Still it was preferable to crossing it on horseback, 
for though one might be borne across in safety, she might by 
her presence endanger the life of Aristides, and drag him with 
her into a watery grave. Clinging to the railing that vibrated 
in her grasp, she stepped on the slippery plank, and* without 
daring to cast one glance below, went on her perilous path, 

Aristides beheld her suspended as it were in the blue ether, 
and his heart almost ceased beating. He could scarcely see 
the plank that supported or the railing that guided, and so 
airy and spirit-like she looked, with rills of brightness flowing 
round her, he gazed as upon some supernatural vision. Just 
as she was about to plant a foot upon the pier, the plank 



242 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

glided from its uncertain position^ lier robes fluttered a mo- 
ment; and a plunging sound was heard in tlie stream. Aris- 
tides was conscious of nothing till he found himself buffeting 
the tide under the broken arch^ and calling her name in ac- 
cents that reverberated mournfully from the rocky banks. The 
current was strongs and several times he was drawn down in 
an opposite direction, but he struggled with an arm almost as 
resistless as Tuscarora^s. He saw her rising above the waters, 
and stretching out her arms imploringly, but before he could 
reach her she again sunk, and her dark robes were un distin- 
guishable in the stream over which the black shadows fell. 

^^ Grod of mercy/^ he cried, " give me strength, give me 
strength to reach her. Domine, Deus meus—0 Lord my 
God, hear me.'^ 

Once more her fair face emerged like a cold wintry star 
above the dark pall that mantled her form. With a strength 
that was given him from on high, Aristides beat back the eddy- 
ing tide, and his arm surrounded her just as she was disap- 
pearing a second time from his sight. He felt her clinging 
to him, and the conviction that she was not dead gave new 
vigour to his frame. A few more wrestles with the stream, and 
the bank was reached. With a convulsive laugh he sunk 
down with his drijDping burden. 

" Jubilate Deo J" he exclaimed. " But what shall I do with 
thee, poor perishing child, di'enched and chilled as thou art ?" 

Linda, motionless, but not entirely unconscious, lay on his 
arm, jvith a countenance so resembling death that he was wild 
with alarm. Kneeling o^ or her, still supporting her with one 
arm, while he lifted the other hand to heaven, he cried with bitter 
anguish, — " Miserere mei, Deus — Lord, have pity upon me V 

Just as Linda, roused by these piteous cries, opened her eyes, 
and tried to assure him that she lived, a shout was heard from 
the bank they had left, and he heard the deep voice of Tus- 
carora calling his name. Aristides sent back a feeble answer, 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 243 

for lie was exlaausted by his unwonted efforts, but it was heard 
by the quick ear of the Indian, who, mounted on his noble 
bay, with the bridle of the dapple gray in his left hand, ap- 
peared in a moment swimming across the stream with his re- 
covered treasures. The horse of Aristides, rejoicing in the 
return of its companions, true to its social principles, followed 
behind and joined his wearied master on the bank. 

The snorting animals shook the water from their dripjDing 
manes, and stood with curving necks pawing the ground, as if 
proud of the feat they had accomplished. 

'^ Why is my young sister lying here ? And why is the voice 
of my brother like a sick man's F"*^ said Tuscarora. 

Aristides explained the danger Linda had incmTed, accus- 
ing himself bitterly for having suggested such a perilous ex- 
pedient as crossing the bridge. 

" You saved me," said Linda, raising herself from his arm, 
^' you saved me, best and kindest of friends ; and you, too,^' 
taking the hand of Tuscarora, "you, too, have delivered me 
from death. Raise me, for I am strong. I never shall fear 
again, never, while my preservers are near." 

She spoke in an excited tone, and her eyes had an unnatu- 
ral brightness. "I am strong," she repeated, '^very strong. 
Let us not linger here. Welcome, my gentle gray," patting 
his wet back. " I long to mount thee once more." 

"My sister is not strong enough to ride alone," said Tusca- 
rora, alarmed at the unnatural excitement of her manner, and 
cradling her on his left arm as if she were an infant, he 
mounted his horse, taking the bridle of the other, and bidding 
Aristides follow. 

Linda made no resistance, and supported by the strong arm 
so lately reddened by blood, she felt buoyed up as if borne on 
wings. Notwithstanding her garments were saturated, and 
her hair drenched, her cheeks burned and her hands glowed 
with heat. 



. 244 LINDA ; OE, THE YOUNG PILOT 

" Where did you overtake tlie robbers V asked Aristides, 
'^ and did tbey yield without strife V 

" I tracked thera deep in the woods. I followed the print 
of the horses' hoofs, and I would have known them if they 
had been among a thousand others. They had hid themselves 
in a dark thicket, but I found them as readily as in the blaze 
of day. I took the shawl of the woman, thick and strong as 
a blanket, and tearing it in pieces bound them both to the 
trunks of trees and left them. The man was a coward, and 
dared not fight. They cursed, but I answered not. I thank 
the Great Spirit that the blood of another wretch has not 
stained my hand.'' 

Aristides looked wistfully ahead, to see if the wished-for 
haven was not in sight. He felt very cold and miserable, for 
he had not the iron constitution of Tuscarora, who revelled 
in the watery element, and minded the waves no more than 
so many dew-drops. It was not long before a house, very 
different from the one they had just deserted, gTeeted their 
eyes. The neat fence, the shaded yard, and comfortable out- 
houses promised comfort and rest within. The door was soon 
opened, and Tuscarora, having consigned Linda to the care of 
Aristides, entered first, that he might explain to the owner of 
the mansion the circumstances which brought them there. 
He soon returned, and ushered Linda into a nice and pleasant- 
looking apartment, on the hearth of which a fire was abeady 
sparkling. The master of the house, a gentleman of respect- 
able appearance and kind countenance, welcomed them with 
cordiality -, telling Linda that his wife would come as soon as 
she was dressed, and assist her in changing her wet garments. 
Linda smiled, and looked down upon her dress. 

^^ I do not like to see her smile in that way," thought Aris- 
tides, and his heart ached from fear that her sufferings were 
not ended. There was a bright red spot on her cheeks and a 
lustre in her eyes that made her dazzlingly beautiful, and 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 245 

her clinging raiment, displaying tlie exquisite outlines of her 
rounded form, did not disfigure her, as they would have done 
one of less symmetrical lineaments. Poor Aristides did indeed 
look most piteous. His long, slender limhs appeared twice as 
long and slender as they did before, and his hair, matted close to 
his head, however it might exhibit his phrenological develop- 
ment, deprived it of much of its intellectual dignity. As he 
sat by the fire, with his hands resting on his knees, gazing on 
Linda with a mournful, anxious expression,- drops of water 
oozing occasionally down his cheeks, it must be acknowledged 
he presented rather a ludicrously melancholy appearance. 
The entrance of the landlady caused Linda to start forward, 
and with eager interest she perused her features, reading in 
every line kindness and benevolence. 

^^ Bless me, my poor child,^^ said she, laying her hand on 
Linda's damp shoulder. ^' You must not sit in these wet 
clothes. Come into my room, and let me get you warm and 
dry. But, mercy on me, what a hot hand is this V 

As Linda felt the kind hand on her shoulder, and heard 
the compassionate voice so soothingly addressing her, yielding 
to an irresistible attraction, she threw her arms round her 
neck, saying : " You will take care of me, will you not ? You 
look kind and good. I think something dreadful must have 
happened, but I do not recollect what it is. I have a strange 
feeling here ;" putting her hand to her head with a bewil- 
dered air. " My hair is too heavy, and presses too tight on 
my brow.'' 

^^ Terror hag^touched her brain," said Tuscarora, answering 
the alarmed looks of the landlady. '' There is fever in her 
veins. Let her drink of some cooling herb, and rest where 
your eye can watch her. No wonder the lamb should trem- 
ble, just escaped from the den of the wolf." 

" Take care of him," cried Linda, looking back tenderly 
upon Aristides, as the landlady led her from the room. " And 



246 LINDA ; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

tell him not to talk in Latin to-night. It will be bad for his 
head; after being in the water so long/' 

"AlaS; alas!" said AristideS; wringing his hands, "she 
knows not what she utters." 

" Sleep and that kind woman will restore her/' answered 
Tuscarora. " I pray the God of the white man to deal gently 
with her, for she has been sorely tried. But she says right — 
take care of yourself, if you would still aid in protecting 
her." 

While AristideS; tortured with anxiety for his beloved pupil, 
retired where dry garments and a warm bed awaited him, 
Tuscarora remained with the landlord, talking of the awful 
event which had just occurred. The latter promised to ac- 
company him, as soon as the day, which was already beginning 
to streak the sky, was a little higher in the east, to the hovel 
where the body of the hunter lay, and with the assistance of 
some stout negroes, have it removed and buried. The 
wretches bound in the woods had probably released them- 
selves by this time, and probably returned to their abode. 
The landlord spoke of this family as vile vagabonds, who 
were considered the pest and scourge of the country round, 
and looked upon the deed which Tuscarora had committed, in 
defence of injured innocence, as a blessing to mankind. The 
people who formerly resided at the hut, and who were known 
to Tuscarora as honest, though poor, had left the place since 
he had last travelled in this direction, and these new tenants 
taken possession. 

The dignified and high-minded Indian would not knowingly 
have entered such a den of wickedness, or exposed Linda to 
horrors which had evidently shattered her reason. 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 247 



CHAPTER XIX. 

What a different aspect Pine G-rove now presents, from 
what it did six months ago ! 

The mistress who then presided with the iron will and the 
Median law, now sits a leaden ruin in the midst of her house- 
hold, with drooping hands, half-powerless limbs and eyes, in 
whose stony orbs even the white heat of passion seems cold 
and extinguished. 

Subject to those terrible paroxysms which had seized her 
at the bedside of her son, her powers of body and mind had 
gradually given way, till she exhibited the most melancholy 
spectacle in the universe — a mass of cold, deadened matter, in 
which the fire of passion and the light of mind no longer 
glowed. 

Kobert, with the bitterest remorse and deepest anguish, 
watched over the wreck which he believed his own unmastered 
passions had made. He remembered with shuddering emo- 
tions the denunciation he had uttered against her, and would 
have given worlds could he have seen her paralyzed mind 
awakened to a consciousness of her transgressions, so that he 
could bear her in the arms of faith and prayer to the feet of 
that Saviour on whose mercy he had cast his own sin-sick 
and burdened soul. 

The poor negroes, who had so long trembled under her 
despotic sway, in whose ears the low sound of her monotonous 
voice was terrible as the hissing of the thunderbolt, who had 
been accustomed to obey the glance of her pale eye, as if it 
were the fiat of fate, looked with the same awe upon her 
hushed and passive state, as beings of old did, upon the mu- 
riatic pillar once known as Lot's wife. 

The remembrance of her harshness and tyranny would 



248 LINDA; OR; THE YOIJNG PILOT 

have prevented them from paying her those attentions her 
helpless condition demanded, had not_ Eobert interposed the 
shield of his filial tenderness, and hallowed the object of his 
cares. 

^^Be kind to my mother for my sake," was his i gentle ad- 
monition. 

Was this the fiery and exciting Robert ? Ah ! religion 
transforms the lion into the lamb. 

Kobert was a devout enthusiast. Had he lived in the early 
days of Christianity, he would have gloried in the flames of 
martyrdom. He wished that his faith would expose him to 
persecution and shame, that he might testify like the saints of 
old his devotion to his divine Master. His soul was fiilled 
with a burning zeal, which must find objects on which to shed 
its consuming fires. He longed to devote himself to the mis- 
sionary cause, feeling as if in no other situation he would be 
called upon to exercise the self-denial and humiliation he con- 
sidered necessary for the chastening of his late proud and re- 
bellious spirit. 

"When the good and pious Eayner suggested to him to be 
his companion in a journey, in which as a home missionary 
he was about to distribute the word of Grod to the destitute 
heathen of our own land, he eagerly consented. A wild 
hope, too, of learning something more definite of Linda's fate, 
quickened the pulsations of his being. 

^^If her ashes only rested on consecrated ground," thought 
he, " hallowed by Christian burial, and guarded by angel vi- 
sitants, I would resign myself without a murmur to the will 
of Grod. If I could only find a place for my tears, they should 
soon cease to flow." 

He would not have consented to leave his mother, but her 
dull, unspeculating eye showed no recognition of his pre- 
sence. The physician said she might linger for years in the 
same condition, and Mr. Marshall offered to superintend the 



or THE BELLE CREOLE. 249 

family interests during Robert's absence. He even dispensed 
witli tbe services of tlie faithful Judy, and sent ber to take 
her former station as housekeeper at Pine Grrove. Once more 
her white turban was seen in its towering aristocracy, shooting 
from apartment to apartment, heralded "by the jingling of 
keys and the turning of locks/' and Dilsey and Minta, now 
full-grown and accomplished housemaids, became again her 
attendant satellites. 

"What an awful judgment !" Judy would mutter, her eye 
fixed on the doomed mistress of the mansion. " The Lord has 
smitten her for the dreadful treatment of that poor, dear, 
sweet, darling young creature, whom she's just as good as 
murdered. Bless her little heart and soul. I sees her spirit 
every night, standing over poor, dead mistress' grave, look- 
ing so white and sorrowful, with beautiful wings on its shoul- 
ders. If it had not been for Master Robert — well — well ! 
He's a Christian now. The Lord has forgiven him ; and it 
won't do for poor nigger to be harder on him than the blessed 
Lord.^' 

The night before his departure, Robert called the negroes 
together in the open yard, beneath the shadow of the house- 
hold pines. It was the season of early spring, and the wea- 
ther was as balmy and soft as its blending sunbeams and 
showers could make it. 

Pine torches, blazing from the summit of the tri-footed pil- 
lars, mingled their ruddy beams with the pale lustre of a wax- 
ing moon, and in the double illumination rows of upturned 
ebony faces shone with a kind of dark splendour, rivalling 
the smoothness and brightness of marble. 

" High above tlie rest^ in shape and gesture 
Proudly eminent" — 

Aimt Judy's head-dress rose like a tower, on which the night- 
rays gathered in a radiant focus. Nor was she less distin- 



250 LINDA; OR, TEE YOUNG PILOT 

guished for tlie superior solemnity and intelligence of her 
aspect, the devotional calmness of lier attitude, the neatness 
and propriety of her attire. 

Robert stood — his head uncovered, his long, black hair 
waving in the breeze, and his eyes beaming with supernatural 
radiance — before this humble and awe-struck assembly. He 
looked upon them no longer as brute hirelings, born to a 
state of subserviency and vassalage, but as immortal beings, 
children of the same Almighty Father, and heirs of the same 
glorious inheritance as himself. As such he addressed them : 
and though his language might be too highly wrought for 
their unlettered ears, the evidences of sincerity and feeling, the 
enthusiastic fervour of his looks and manner, touched the chords 
of their simple and confiding hearts. To think of Master Ro- 
bert, once so vile and wicked, turning a preacher, to them it 
was a miracle indeed, and marvellous in their eyes. Some 
wept silently, others rocked to and fro, uttering low, sup- 
pressed groans, while a few ventured upon louder demonstra- 
tions of feeling, such as an occasional shout and wild exclama- 
tion. Judy had been listening with the most rapt attention, 
hardly daring to breathe, lest she should lose some expression 
which struck her with the force of inspiration, making warn- 
ing gestures to the right and left, that she might insure the 
continuance of order and restraint ; but her emotions became 
at length too mighty for control. She saw the white tomb- 
stone of her departed mistress, cold and still, in the lonely 
little enclosure so near; she saw, too, with her spirit's eye, the 
ghost of Linda, flitting through the silver-tinted shadows, and 
the voice of Master Robert was in her ears — that deep, impres- 
sive voice, talking, like a youthful St. Paul, of ^^ sin, righteous- 
nesS; and judgment to come.'^ Judy could not bear such a 
weip;ht of solemnities. Her excitement broke through all 
bounds. She rose from her seat, and, clapping her sable 
hand«5, shouted, " Grlory I" till myriad voices joined in the 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 261 

chorus, and "Grlory, glory !'^ resounded tlirough the grove, 
and echoed through the distant woods. 

Then the sweet and mellow voice of Eayner was heard 
swelling out in one of those monotonous, touching hymns, pe- 
culiar to the church to which he belonged ; and, as the rude 
minstrels joined in the ever-recurring chorus, the vehemence 
of their feelings subsided into the hush that usually succeeds 
any stormy emotion. 

Robert gave them an individual farewell, commending his 
mother to their watchfulness and kindness, promising them an 
abundant earthly reward on his return, and endless blessings 
hereafter, if they proved faithful to the trust imposed. 

An hour afterwards, Robert stood alone beneath the two 
arching trees which was once the trysting-spot of his boy- 
hood. His spirit rolled back on the waves of the past, with a 
swift, rushing motion ; but every scene on the margin of those 
darkened waters rose as vividly before him as if his bodily 
eyes were gazing upon the reality. 

Such was the phantasmagoria. 

A rough, violent, mischief-loving, pampered boy of four- 
teen, and a sweet, gentle, dove-eyed child, on whose counte- 
nance the sixth beatitude was written in celestial characters. 

A passionate, headstrong, despotic youth, and an innocent 
confiding, lovely maiden, shrinking from his wild, undisci- 
plined love, pleading for protection, and pleading in vain. 

A frenzied, heaven-defying man, madly pursuing the victim 
of his passion, reckless of man and Grod, and a lifeless form, 
wrapped in the winding-sheet of the waves — its requiem the 
murmur of the waters and the sighing of the winds. 

A weeping penitent, a trembling believer, an humble Chris- 
tian, and a young saint, redeemed and glorified, awaiting hini 
in a brighter, fairer world. 

As the last vision passed before him, Robert bowed hig 
head, and, kneeling on a spot so sacred to memory, renewed 



252 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

the solemn covenant made on tlie bed of sickness^ to conse- 
crate his whole beino; to the service of his Maker. There he 
knelt till; in the beautiful language of Scripture^ ^' his head 
was wet with dew, and his locks were heavy with the drops of 
night." 

The nest morning, before the rising sun, he, with his evan- 
gelical companion, had commenced their long, equestrian 
jom-ney through some of the wildest, most uncultivated regions 
of the Southern forests. 

One night, after they had been travelling weeks, rejoicing 
in their labours of love, they stopped at a mansion whose ex- 
terior promised far better accommodations than any which they 
had seen in their rambles. The master of the house, whoso 
name was Barlow, recognised the pious Rajmer, and gave him 
and his young friend the most cordial and hospitable welcome. 
Mrs. Barlow was a kind and gentle lady, and looked with 
much interest on the pale and handsome features of Robert, 
saddened, as they were, by an expression of profound melan- 
choly. After supper was over, and Rayner had consecrated 
the closing hour with prayer, she lingered as if she had some- 
thing to communicate, and her eyes rested especially on 
R.obei*t. 

^^ Do you leave early in the morning V she asked. 

" Before the rising of the sun,'' he replied. 

" We have a young invalid in the house," continued she, 
" who has been brought very low, even to the gates of the 
grave. For a long time she was deprived of her reason; but 
now, though still weak and languid, she can converse without 
injury. I am sure your presence will be a comfort to her, for . 
it is seldom, in these forests, we are visited by the minister 
of God." 

Robert's heart bounded wildly in his bosom. A young 
invalid, deprived of her reason — who could she be ? But 
Mrs. Barlow's next words destroyed the illusion. 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 253 

'^She is an orphan, committed to my care, whose kindness 
to a dear and only daughter on her death-bed claims my 
everlasting gratitude. I will go and prepare her for your 
coming." 

In a few moments she returned, and, bearing a lamp, 
ushered the minister and his young neophyte to the apartmcLt 
of the invalid. 

" She is still too weak not to be agitated by the presence 
of strangers," said she, in a low voice, as she guided them 
through the passage, '^ Perhaps you had better not address 
her till your prayers have tranquillized her soul. Poor child ! 
she has suffered a great deal." 

She opened the door of a small, neatly-fui*nished apartment, 
and Robert entered a place that seemed to him holy ground — 
the sick-chamber of youth and innocence. The bed was 
shaded by white muslin curtains, which, hanging in full folds, 
concealed the youthful invalid, and Kobert, with instinctive 
delicacy, drew back into the deepest shadow of the room, 
leaving to Rayner the office of the ministering angel, a defer- 
ence due to his piety and superior age. Mrs. Barlow placed 
the lamp on a little table, on which an open Bible was already 
laid, and motioned Mr. Rayner to approach it. 

Sweetly did his solemn, tender voice sound in that quiet, 
shaded room. He selected one of the divine minstrelsies of 
David, and, while his benign countenance was lighted with the 
glow of devotion, he breathed forth those heavenly strains 
which have been the consolation of the afflicted ever since the 
shepherd-monarch swept his consecrated lyre. Closing the 
sacred book, he rose, and, turning to Robert, who sat, with 
his brow leaning on his hand, far removed from the light of 
the lamp, 

" Come, my young brother," said he, " let it be your office 
to intercede at the throne of grace in behalf of our sister — ■ 
remembering her whom you have loved and lost, and who, you 



254 LINDA; OR^ THE YOUNG PILOT 

humbly trust, is now a beatified spirit in heaven ; let your 
soul gush forth in melting petitions and prevailing supplica- 
tions." 

Kobert advanced with slow steps, his tall figure towering 
above the lower stature of his companion, and, kneeling by 
the open Bible, the rays of the lamp fell brightly on his lifted 
brow. A rustling of the muslin curtains — a low, shivering 
sigh from the bed — strangely startled him. That sigh ran 
like electricity through his frame. He tried to lift his 
thoughts on high, and, raising his eyes and invoking head to 
heaven, exclaimed, in a deep, low, trembling voice, " Oh ! 
thou Father of mercies !" when a faint shriek from the bed 
arrested his accents. Mrs. Barlow sprang from her knees, 
and Robert, called back to earth, gazed in the direction of 
that thrilling cry. The curtain was drawn back — a face white 
as the folds from which it emerged was leaning forward from 
the pillow — while one hand was pushing wildly back a shower 
of bright, brown ringlets from the snowy brow. 

" Linda ! Linda V' cried Robert, attempting to spring for- 
ward, but, staggering back, he fell insensible in the arms of 
Bayner. The good man hung over him in agony, trembling 
lest the red stream that had so often gushed forth from those 
veins of fire should crimson once more his pallid lips. 

" Gro to him, go to him," said Linda, faintly pushing Mrs. 
Barlow from her, to whom she had at first wildly clung; 
'^ save him — he is my brother — let him not die, let him not 
die," she repeated, sinking back exhausted on her pillow. 

Poor Mrs. Barlow was half distracted, not knowing on whom 
to lavish her cares; but she obeyed the imploring eyes of 
Linda, and sought those restoratives her experience taught 
her would be efiicacious for his recovery ; and Mr. Bayner 
had the unspeakable relief of seeing him restored to con- 
sciousness without the terrible hemorrhage he had so trem- 
blingl}'^ anticipated. 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 255 

Witli the rushing current of life came back the most be- 
wildering remembrances. Was it a dream ? Or had he 
been permitted a glimpse of another world ? Those eyes, so 
soft, yet wild — so mournful, yet so sweet — had they only shot 
forth spirit-glances burning into his very soul. 

'^ Have I seen her again 1" he cried, raising his head from 
the supporting breast of Eayner; "or has she risen from the 
grave to mock me ?" 

" She lives, my son," answered Eayner, laying his hand 
gently on Robert's throbbing temples; "but let religion 
chasten your joy. Remember the Giver of so much happi- 
ness.'^ 

The meeting between Robert and Linda was solemn and 
affecting. Restored to him, as it were, from the world of 
spirits, it seemed as if he saw her rising from the burying 
wave, where, in imagination, he had so long mourned her — 
so wan, so fair, so spiritual, he trembled as he gazed, lest she 
should melt from his sight, and leave him again to darkness 
and desolation. And Linda — the memory of that thrilling 
prayer — the kneeling attitude — the heavenward glance — the 
clasped and uplifted hands — the humble, supplicating accents 
— the devout, purified expression — filled her with mysterious 
awe. It was the face, the form of Robert, but animated by 
another soul. 

" Linda, my beloved sister ! I have mourned thee as dead,'' 
exclaimed Robert, in a faltering voice. 

Linda felt the tears of Robert moistening her cheek as he 
bent over her; she heard the gentle emphasis on the sweet 
name of sister, she met the softened glance of his once insuf- 
ferable eyes, and she knew that the reign of passion was over. 
With a smile of ineffable joy and gratitude, she suffered her 
head to drop upon his breast, even as if she had found refuge 
in the arms of a brother. 

" Robert — brother — friend," she murmured, " I grieve that 



256 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

I have given tliee sorrow; but oh ! I have suffered much my- 
self/' 

Alarmed at the deadly pallor of her countenance, Mrs. 
Barlow here interposed, with maternal authority, and insisted 
that Linda should be left in quietude till the next morning, as 
she feared already the consequences of so much excitement. 
Rayner, too, noticed with anxiety the bloodless cheeks of Ro- 
bert, and imposed upon him the same command. 

It may be asked what peculiar claims Linda could offer for 
the gratitude of Mrs. Barlow ? 

"When Linda found shelter under the roof of Mrs. Barlow, 
an incipient fever, the result of suffering, excitement, and ex- 
posure, was burning in her veins. She awoke the next morn- 
ing in delirious agony, and for weeks she uttered nothing but 
wild and incoherent ravings. 

In the aberrations of her intellect, there was still sufficient 
method for the listener to learn something of her past history. 
The relentless persecutions of her stepmother — the ungovern- 
able passion of Robert — the treachery of the wily Scotch- 
man — were at first the sole subjects of her wandering mind. 
But sometimes she was the inmate of Rose Bower, wandering 
in the oaken grove with her young companions, and revelling 
in all the free joys of childhood. Then she was watching by 
the couch of the dying Luta, standing over her early grave, 
and joining in the mournful hymn that hallowed her last 
repose. 

^^I would not live alway — I ask not to stay,'' warbled the 
sweet voice of Linda, unconscious that it was the mother of 
Luta who was bathing her burning temples, and ministering 
unto her sufferings, as she had once done to her child. Mrs. 
Barlow had felt her heart drawn towards her the first mo- 
ment she saw her. Her youth, beauty, and helplessness, the 
singularity of her situation, the eccentricity of her white friend, 
the wild majesty of her Indian guide, all threw a kind of ro- 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 257 

mance and mystery around lier that was irresistibly attractive. 
But when she saw the name marked upon her apparel, a 
name Mrs. Eeveire had so often mentioned in her letters, as 
the watching angel of her Luta, and heard her murmuring in 
such mournful, tender tones about her lost companion, she 
felt as if Providence had directed the young wanderer to her 
door, that she might repay a solemn debt of gratitude. 

Tuscarora, convinced that it would be long before Linda 
would be able to continue her journey, went on alone to the 
"great river," for he remembered Naimuna in her solitary 
home, but he promised to return before two moons had waxed 
and waned, to learn of the welfare of his white sister. 

But Aristides lingered near his beloved charge, doubly 
endeared to him by her misfortunes and danger. In the 
wildest wanderings of her intellect she seemed to have a vague 
recollection of his person and individualities, and often 
brought a tear to his eye, and a smile to the lips of others, by 
entreating him not to talk so much Latin, as it was very bad 
for both their heads. 

Poor Aristides, who could talk only between inverted com- 
mas, forebore to speak at all, and would sit for hours in silent 
melancholy, listening to the unconscious expressions of a mind 
now like sweet bells jingled out of tune. 

The recovery of her reason left her body in a weak and 
languishing state, requiring the most tender and assiduous 
care. Ah ! Linda had indeed " cast her bread upon the 
waters,'^ when she wilted the roses of her childhood OTer the 
couch of sickness in the bower where Luta bloomed and died. 
Little did she think the time would ever come, when she 
would owe the restoration of reason, health, and life itself, to 
the mother over whose anticipated sorrows she had so often wept. 

When she awoke the morning after Robert's arrival, and 
recalled the events of the preceding evening, her heart was 
filled with inexpressible gratitude and tranquillity. 



258 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

The incubus that had weighed upon her bosom like a 
mountain of lead was removed, and a feeling light as the flut- 
terings of down supplied its place. Robert, whose love had 
been the terror and bane of her existence, whose image had 
always risen a dark and terrible shadow between her and all 
future felicity, she could now love as a brother, trust as a 
friend, and revere as a Christian. A change so mighty could 
only have been wrought by Divine power, and she dwelt upon 
it with adoring awe. 

The peace of her mind diffused a sweet serenity over her 
countenance, and the warmth of her heart, whose best and 
purest affections were now awakened, sent a long-absent 
roseate tint to her pallid cheek. Mrs. Barlow burnished with 
all a mother's pride the " golden embrownment '^ of her hair, 
that beautiful hair, which, even in the worst stages of her deli- 
rium, she never could summon resolution to cut. 

^^ "When I bathe her head with cold water,'^ she would rea- 
son, '^ her hair keeps the moisture, and cools the fever of her 
temples.'^ So she continued to moisten and smooth her luxu- 
riant ringlets, rescuing from sacrilegious touch nature's most 
beautiful ornament. 

When Eobert again met Linda ; when he saw the sweet, 
confiding smile that played upon her lips, the endearing ten- 
derness with which she extended both hands, and called him 
^^ Brother, her dear brother Robert,'' a faint, sick, dizzy feel- 
ing came over him. A stormy gust swept across his soul. It 
was the resurrection of passion — the awakening of the spirit's 
warfare. "I could resign her to the grave," thought he, ^'but 
can I to a living rival ? Thou," continued he, lifting his 
heart heavenward — '^Thou who wast once tempted in the 
wilderness of life, leave me not to the power of my bosom ene- 
mies." 

Linda watched the agitated features of Robert, and the 
smile forsook her lips. Tet it was not terror, but pity and 



OP THE BELLE CREOLE. 259 

grief she felt, for his countenance expressed the most intense 
anguish. 

^' You have been ill, Robert/' she said, gently pressing his 
trembling hand. " You are very, very pale, and your mother, 
Robert,'' added she, in a lower tone, as if fearful of breathing 
her name, ^^ you have not spoken of her." 

Then Robert, having mastered himself by a powerful effort, 
sat down by her side, and told her all that had happened dur- 
ing her absence, touching as lightly as possible on his own 
physical sufferings; and Linda's heart was tortured by self-re- 
proach and remorse for the awful consequences of her flight. 
The powerless state to which her step-mother was reduced, a 
stony fixture in her own household, a cold, stiffening link be- 
tween the living and the dead — a mere mockery of life, filled 
her with indescribable awe. 

She thought of the solemn words of Scripture : — ^^ Yen- 
geance is mine : I will repay, saith the Lord." She tried to 
soften the narration of her own sufferings, but the simple fact 
of McCleod's treachery was enough to excite the indignant 
spirit of Robert, and his eyes emitted rays of their former 
scorching fires. Anxious to change the current of his emo- 
tions, she described her noble Indian friend, his stern forest 
virtues softened and elevated by the influence of civilization 
and the heavenly spirit of the Christian religion. She dwelt 
on the lovely character of Naimuna, the parental kindness and 
ceaseless devotion of the good Aristides, the maternal tender- 
ness and affectionate cares of Mrs. Barlow. 

" When I look back upon the past," said she, ^^Isee so 
much cause for gratitude and humility, I wonder I ever could 
distrust the guardian Providence, whose wings of love have 
brooded over me, like the down of the bird over her young. 
From what dangers have I been delivered ! Through what 
trials been sustained ! And now the first and warmest prayei 
of my life seems answered. I am assured of a brother's pro- 



260 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

tection and care; where I have always yearned to find it. I 
am no longer desolate and alone. '^ 

All that was good and noble in Robert's regenerated nature 
responded to this trust. 

^^If I ever prove unworthy of this sacred confidence/' cried 
he, ^-^ may I be forsaken by that merciful Being, to whose 
service I have consecrated myself; body and soul. For all 
past wrong; and strife, and passioU; forgive me. For all future 
tendernesS; brotherly kindness, and self-sacrificing devotion, 
believe and trust me ; and the confidence; however unmerited, 
shall never be betrayed.'' 

" Oh; Robert !" was all Linda could utter, but her tears 
were more eloquent than words. She was still too weak not 
to suffer from such an agitating interview; and it was several 
days before Robert was again admitted into her presence. 

In the mean time AristideS; who had been absent; for the 
first time since Linda's illnesS; on an hunting excursion; (as 
his health had suffered from his long, anxious vigils,) returned, 
and was welcomed by Robert with affectionate respect. Aris- 
tides could scarcely recognise his former pupil, in the lofty, 
intellectual-looking; and remarkably handsome young man 
before him. 

Alas for Linda ! Alas for the shorn lamb; for whom Grod 
had so gently tempered the pitiless blast I — must she fall again 
into the hands of the wolf ? Had all her perils and sufferings 
been in vain ? 

Robert read the suspicions that clouded his keeU; gray eye, 
and he resented them not. He hastened to reassure him, by 
declaring it the solemn purpose of his soul; to assist in plac- 
ing Linda with her friends, and to facilitate by every means 
in his power her union with Roland Lee. 

Rayner, who felt it his duty to continue his missionary 
labours, bade a reluctant adieu to his interesting young friendS; 
promising Robert to meet him at Pine GrovC; as soon as his 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 261 

mission was ended. All that was now wanting was the resto- 
ration of Linda's health, when she was to commence her jour- 
ney anew, under the united guardianship of Eobert and Aris- 
tides. 

- The time seemed rapidly approaching, as every day gave 
added strength and elasticity to her frame, and a rosier tint to 
the lilies of her cheek. Her confidence in Roland Lee had 
never wavered. He, too, probably believed the story of her 
death, but she knew she was not forgotten. 

With a faith so strong, it had the confidence of certainty, 
ghe looked forward to a day of reunion, and as the star conse- 
crated to his memory smiled upon her from the azure depths 
of night, it seemed like the star of the East, to go before 
her watching spirit, a herald of peace, and joy, and love. 



CHAPTER XX. 



Linda once more a traveller ! — "Without followino- her 

o 

equestrian journey, we will meet her on the banks of the 
Mississippi, where, 'with her two protectors, she is ready to em- 
bark in a new and splendid boat, that is ploughing, for the 
first time, the mighty bosom of the father of ancient waters. 

As the stately vessel swept with a rapid and graceful cir- 
cumvolution towards the landing, Linda's eyes, dazzled by the 
sunbeams sparkling on the waters, could not distinctly read 
the name of the virgin bark, but one by one the golden letters 
forming the fatal name of the Belle Creole, beamed in glitter- 
ing characters on her sight. She turned of a deadly pale- 
ness, and grasped the arm of Robert with unconscious energy. 
There was something startling in this coincidence of names, 
and a strange hope thrilled through her heart. 



262 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

" Who is the captain of this new boat ?" asked Robert, in- 
terpreting the speaking glance of Linda. 

" Captain Hunlj/^ answered the gentleman whom he ad- 
dressed. 

The name of the pilot trembled on the lips of Linda, but 
she dared not ask so strange a question ; and oppressed with 
mournful remembrances and agitating hopes, she walked in 
eilence through the long and magnificently furnished cabin, to 
the one appropriated to the ladies' use. 

Here a bright, smiling mulatto girl, anxious to do the 
honours of the boat, conducted her to a state-room, so ele- 
gantly adorned, it looked like a fashionable boudoir — expect- 
ing to be rewarded by some expression of wonder and de- 
light, but the preoccupied Linda heeded not the decorations 
that surrounded her. 

^^ I hope they have a careful pilot,'' said she, blushing at 
the little artifice she was using. ^^ I was once on a boat which 
was blown up in a terrible manner, and it has made me very 
timid on the water. I hope," continued she, more earnestly, 
^^that you have a good and experienced pilot." 

^' There's two of 'em," replied the girl, " and they've both 
been on the river long enough to know what they're about, as 
much as eight or ten years. There's one of 'em going along 
on deck now, with the green jacket on. T'other is a heap 
older than he." 

Linda looked from the window, and saw a stout, weather- 
beaten, bronze-visaged man, who looked as if he had been ex- 
posed to many a warring wind and burning sun. 

She compared him in imagination with the form of Roland 
Lee, graceful in youth and manly beauty, and turned away 
with a deep, quivering sigh. 

" Oh ! if you only seed the young captain," said the social 
mulatto; ^^he's the handsomest man you ever seed in your 
born days — and so grand, too, though he looks sorter soiry- 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 263 

like ! He went in the small boat, t'other side of the river, 
when they stopped to take you in. He'll be back soon. 
You'd better look out, for 'twill be worth seeing, I can tell 
you.'^ 

Linda scarcely heard the words of her attendant^ so deeply 
were her thoughts buried in the past. The girl, feeling hei 
conversational powers somewhat slighted, left her to find more 
appreciating auditors ; and Linda gazed abroad with intense 
emotion on that glorious stream, which she had learned to 
associate with the image of Roland Lee. 

Concealed by the drapery that shaded the window, she sat 
and looked on the glittering fleece of the water, the element 
that Roland loved, and over which her spirit, like the arkite 
dove, went forth with trembling wing in search of some green 
olive-leaf of hope in token of future joy. 

A barge, rowed by four boatmen, was pushing from the op- 
posite shore. A gentleman stood in the centre, and as the 
light vessel rocked to and fro, his figure inclined with a grace- 
ful motion, like a-flexible tree, swaying in the wind. He was 
dressed in black, and a piece of black-crape, tied round his left 
arm, fluttered in the breeze. There was something in the at- 
titude, the outlines of that erect, commanding figure, that 
made Linda bend forward with a more eager, intense gaze. 
She shaded her eyes with her hand, she passed her handker- 
chief over the glass to remove the mist of her panting breath. 
Nearer and nearer glided the barge, more and more distinct 
became the lineaments of that upright form. 

There was a loud cheer from the deck of the Belle Creole, 
and the gentleman, lifting his hat and waving it in the air, 
stood with uncovered head, while the sunbeams, shining in 
their zenith glory, played brightly around his brow. 

"Roland!" ejaculated Linda, sinking back in her chair 
A mist darkened her sight. The sound of many waters seem»"»d 
rushing in her ears. 
17 



264 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

She was roused by the cheerful voice of the mulatto girl— 
"Well; have you seed the captain ?" asked she, putting her 
ivory teeth through the door — " but; gracious ! how pale 
you be V 

Linda held out her hand for a glass of water, and as she 
drank; the mist passed away from her sight. 

" They told me it was Captain Hunly;'' said sho; abstract- 
edly; " why should they deceive me ?" 

"La; no V says the girl, "it's Captain Lee. I know how 
it happened. Mr. Hunly; who is mighty rich; and one of the 
best men that ever lived — and I ought to knoW; for he's my 
own blessed master — had the boat made, and he gin it him- 
self to Captain LeC; ^cause he saved his life once. Nobody 
knowd any thing about it till the boat was all finished; and 
trimmed up beautifully; and then, master sent for the captain — 
Mr. Lee 1 believe ^twas then — and told him all about it. I 
hearn master say; he loves the young captain just as well as 
if he was his own soU; and I don't wonder at it. He's a real, 
natoral born gentleman; and there's no lie about it." 

The girl had no reason to complain now of the indifference 
of her auditor; though Linda startled and changed colour at 
every resounding tread. She knew that Kobert and Roland 
must meet; and that the crisis of her destiny was at hand. 

In the mean time, Robert; who was walking the deck; be- 
held the approach of the little boat; and recognised the form 
of his once-hated and contemned rival. Koland; toO; recog- 
nised the features of Robert; and sternness settled on his brow. 
The remembrance of Linda rose darkly before him, at the 
sight of her supposed destroyer ; and the young master of 
that magnificent boat; who was greeted with such enthusiastic 
tsheerS; entered it with a spirit goaded almost to madness by 
recollected insults and inexpiable wrongs. 

They met face to face — these two young men — on the deck 
of the Belle Creole. The hot blood rushed with a crimson 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 265 

glow to the face of Roland, but Robert remained colourless aa 
marble. He was conscious of a noble purpose — and magna- 
nimity is always calm. Advancing a few steps, and holding 
out his hand, he said, in a low voice : 

" Captain Lee, I ask forgiveness for the past, and, if possi- 
ble, confidence for the future.' ' 

There was something so truthful and dignified in his man- 
ner, so simple and manly in his address, that it appealed pow- 
erfully to the ingenuous nature of Roland. He involuntarily 
extended his hand, but averted his face to conceal the moist- 
ened eye and quivering lip, which might expose him to a rival's 
pity. 

'' I have much that I wish to say," said Robert. " Could 
I see you a few moments in private ?" 

Roland led the way in silence to his own apartment, where, 
closing the door, he turned towards Robert his agitated coun- 
tenance. 

^' You wear the badge of mourning," said Robert. ^' May 
I ask, if it is for one we both have loved these sable weeds 
are worn V 

"Stop," exclaimed Roland; "my grief should be sacred 
from intrusion, and most of all from you. Have loved ! Your 
words are mockery, sir." 

" I have much to say," continued Robert ; " but I tremble 
for the effect of my communication. Yet I know myself how 
much joy the human heart can bear." 

" Speak — quick, and tell me what you mean," cried Roland, 
turning upon him with a flashing eye. 

" What, if I should" tell you, that she whom you mourn as 
dead still lives, and lives for you. Nay, stay and hear me, 
and believe me. I would not dare to trifle with your sorrow 
Linda lives, and, reserving only a brother's rights, I yield to 
you every claim upon her love." 

Roland gazed upon Robert for a moment, with a strange 



266 LINDA; OR, THE YOUNG PILOT 

bewildered expression^ tlien pressing botli hands upon his fore- 
head, turned of ashy paleness. 

Fearful that he had been too abrupt in his communication, 
Bobert laid his hand gently on his arm, and said : — 

^^ Let me say to thee, my brother, as a holy friend did to 
me, when my soul fainted under the burden of its joy, let 
relio-ion chasten thy felicity. Eemember the great Giver of 
BO much happiness." 

As Kobert uttered these words in a calm, impressive voice, 
Roland's countenance lost its wild expression, his head gradu- 
ally bent down, then throwing his arm round Robert's neck, 
he wept, even as passionate and tender woman weeps. 

Robert's glistening eyes attested the depth of his sympathy. 
No feeling of jealousy now mingled its bitterness with the 
pure fountain of his thoughts. He found a noble, self-sacrific- 
ing spirit its own reward. The hour he had been so long 
dreading, as the test of his sincerity and truth, was come, and 
he had strength to yield Linda to another — nay, he felt a joy 
in the sacrifice, so pure and exalted, he would not have 
exchanged it for all that passion and self-indulgence in their 
most prodigal moods could ofi"er. 

And Roland and Linda met : but we will imitate the deli- 
cacy of Robert, and not intrude on the sacredness of the inter- 
view. It is difficult to describe joy, rising, Lazarus-like, from 
the tomb of despair. The artist can paint the black cloud of 
the gathering tempest, but when a glorious sun-burst comes 
flashing out from the gloom, he drops his pencil, conscious of 
the impotence of his genius, 

*' Unless to mortal it were given, * 

To dip his brush in dyes of heaven." 

The mulatto girl, who seemed to possess a kind of ubiqui- 
tous power, was not slow in discovering and communicating 
the interesting relation that existed between the young captain 
and the beautiful stranger. Having caught several disjointed 



OP THE BELLE CREOLE. 267 

sentences, referring to his belief in her death, her vivid imagi- 
nation filled up the hiatus, and she told, as a matter of fact, 
that the young lady had been buried alive, and stayed under 
ground ever so long, till the young man with the black hair 
and eyes went into her tomb and brought her back to life, and 
that it was she for whom the young captain was in moui'ning, 
and had been looking so mournful about. 

It is not strange that, after such surprising rumours, Linda 
should be an object of peculiar interest and curiosity, or that 
when she appeared at table, escorted by Roland and Robert, 
followed by her tall, slender, remarkable-looking shadow, 
Aristides Longwood, every eye should be directed towards her, 
and ominous whispers be breathed from lip to lip. 

The disappearance of the black crape from the arm of Ro- 
land, the radiant expression of joy that lighted up his counte- 
nance, the colour that flitted in rosy clouds over the cheeks of 
Linda, the downcast eyes veiled by their long, brown lashes, 
that shunned the gaze of all, corroborated the testimony of the 
mulatto. 

Conscious that she was the focus of many a keen and scru- 
tinizing glance, Linda was rejoiced when the moment arrived 
for withdrawing to the ladies' cabin, but she was totally unpre- 
pared for the astounding remarks that awaited her there. 

" What an awful feeling it must be,'' exclaimed a cadave- 
rous-looking lady, drawing her face down to twice its usual 
length, ^' to be put under ground, among coffins and dead 
men's bones !" 

Linda looked up at this terrific speech, and fixed her won- 
dering eyes upon the speaker. 

" Isn't it a dreadful, horrible feeling ?" asked the lady more 
directly. 

" Indeed I know not," answered Linda, beginning to doubt 
the sanity of her neighbour. 

" Then you were insensible all the time, were you, and dia 



268 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

not know wlien they took you out ?'' added she in a more 
funereal tone. 

^' I don't understand you, madam/' answered Linda^ now 
really terrified, drawing farther from her strange companion. 

" I shouldn't think you would mind talking about it now/' 
continued the inquisitor, following her to the other side of the 
cabin, whither she had retreated, ^' though it must have been 
awful at the time.'' 

" What must have been awful ?" repeated Linda, looking 
anxiously towards the door, with a look the woman thought 
supernatural. 

" Why to be buried alive as you have been, to be sure," 
cried the lady, ending the sentence with a low groan. 

Linda, uttering a faint scream, darted through the door so 
suddenly, that she almost overthrew poor Aristides, who was 
walking with measured steps the length of the cabin. 

" puella carissima/' he exclaimed, gazing with alarm 
upon her terrified countenance, " what new misfortune has 
befallen thee ?" 

" Nothing," answered Linda, with more composure, " only 
there is a crazy woman in the cabin — I dare not stay with 
her." 

Roland, who was on deck, heard the voice of Linda, and 
could not forbear approaching. He listened with astonish- 
ment to the cause of her agitation, assured that the evidences 
of insanity must have been as sudden as alarming. 

" Oh, there she is !" exclaimed Linda, shrinking tremblingly 
behind her friends, ''let her not see me." 

A long, jaundiced face appeared through the folding-doors, 
and a solemn hand beckoned the captain to approach. 

lloland immediately advanced, notwithstanding Linda's low 
entreaties that he would beware. 

" Captain," said the lady, in a suppressed, hollow voice, 
"you must look after that young woman. All is not right in 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 269 

her brain/' added she, touching her own forehead, ^^ and it's no 
wonder, poor thing, since she's been buried alive." 

Roland, shuddering at the appalling idea presented to his 
mind, no longer doubted that Linda's fears were legitimate, 
and knowing that insane people are always soothed by an 
apparent deference to their opinions, he assured her in ail sin- 
cerity, that the young lady should be the object of his devoted 
care. 

^' Don't let her go too near the water," whispered she, ^^ not 
long ago a young girl jumped overboard, who was not thought 
to be crazy at all. All they noticed was a wild look out of 
the eye, exactly like this poor thing." 

Roland again thanked her for her friendly solicitude, and 
the good lady closed the door, after casting another commise- 
rating glance at Linda. 

^^ Anarcha," said Roland, to the mulatto, who, eager with 
curiosity, had joined the group, '■'■ take particular notice of that 
lady. She is evidently deranged, and should not be left alone, 
lest some accident befall her." 

" Oh, mercy," cried Anarcha, ^^ I would not stay with a 
crazy woman for ten thousand dollars. I would not go into 
that cabin again for this boat full of gold." 

Linda, perceiving that Roland looked anxious and troubled 
in this new perplexity, tried to smile away her terrors, and pro- 
posed sitting on deck, where, gazing on the calm majesty of 
the waters, her feelings subsided into tranquillity. 

Towards evening the mutual apprehensions of Linda and the. 
lady died away, on the part of the former in the merriest 
laughter, for having mentioned to Anarcha the terrific ques- 
tions that had so much alarmed her, the mulatto knew and 
acknowledged they were caused by the rumours she had cir- 
culated. She felt an unspeakable relief from the conviction 
that she was not obliged to wait upon a crazy woman, and that 
Linda knew nothing of the secrets of the tomb, for she could 



270 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

not help feeling a superstitious a^e of wliat she imagined the 
celestial brightness of her countenance. 

That night a soft, deep mist arose, and veiled the bosom of 
the river. The boat rested on its anchor, and where its throes 
bad lashed the waves to foam, all was stillness and gloom. 

Long after other footsteps were silent, two figures slowly 
walked along the narrow deck. Their low voices mingled 
with the monotonous murmur of the river, and their glances 
meeting through the shadows of night, like stars dimly burning 
through the mist, thrilled each other^s souls with mysterious 
rapture. 

As Linda thus walked, encircled by the arm of Roland 
Lee, that brave and manly arm which had twice redeemed 
her young life from destruction, she felt that, to pass through 
existence thus protected and caressed, no dangers could in- 
timidate, no perils alarm. Her heart ached from the fulness 
of its gratitude and felicity. The brightness of the present 
would have been too dazzling, were it not softened by the 
shadows of the past. 

Hope, chastened by memory — memory, irradiated by hope 
•—two holy handmaids, stood at her side, blending in their 
aspects all that is precious on earth with ail that is glorious 
in heaven. 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 27^ 



CHAPTEH XXI. 

Linda a bride. Let the imagination of the reader supply 
the links wanting in the chain of her history since she walked 
with Koland Lee in the soft mistiness of a vernal night, with 
the majestic Mississippi murmuring beneath, till the hour 
when, arrayed in the white robes of a bride, she stood hand 
in hand with him whom she had loved from childhood with a 
love as pure and constant as the flame that burned in Vesta's 
guarded temple. 

Some of the most loved and honoured friends of her child- 
hood and youth were gathered round her to sympathize in 
this most interesting moment of her life. If she cast her 
eyes on one side, they rested on the mild features of Mrs. 
Keveire, who had left the shades of her distant Rose Bower 
at the invitation of one of her best-beloved pupils. And seated 
near her was the widowed mother of Koland, her pale coun- 
tenance lighted up with an expression of gi-ateful happiness, 
and her eyes, beaming with all a mother's pride, fixed upon 
the face of her son. 

On the other, was Emily, far more beautiful than ever, ac- 
companied by her warm-hearted and high-minded husband. 
A little in the shade, but very near the young bride, appeared 
the figure of Aristides, whose gray eyes twinkled through the 
mist of excited feeling. 

Partially concealed by the sheltering vines that clustered 
round the light verandah, were seen the stately form of the 
Indian Tuscarora and his gentle Naimuna. 

Eelieved by the green shadows that surrounded them, min- 



272 LINDA; OR, THE YOUXG PILOT 

gling in their attire the wild grace of the savage with the 
more refined taste of civilized life, these dark children of the 
forest formed a beautiful back-ground to the fairer group 
gathered nearer the fair, young bride. And behind these, as 
well as in every door of the apartment, appeared a darker 
shade of human countenances : the smiling, ivory-teethed 
Africans, proud of their sweet, young mistress and her noble- 
looking bridegroom ; and Judy was ther^ occupying a conspi- 
cuous station in advance, actually sobbing for joy, and wishing 
" her poor, dead mistress was alive to see this blessed day. 
As for old, new mistress, let her rest in her grave, if she 
could. If the Lord would forgive her, she would ; but she 
didn't believe she ever could see the kingdom of heaven, such 
an awful great sinner she was.'' 

But one of the most interesting figures occupied the most 
conspicuous place in the whole assembly. A young man 
stood in the centre of the apartment — an open Bible in his 
hand, ready to consecrate the nuptial rite, and, by the rising 
glow that mantled his pale cheek, the intense expression of 
his large, brilliant, black eye, it might be seen he was no un- 
interested actor in the marriage scene. It was the first time 
he had ever officiated at the hymeneal altar, and those who 
knew the history of the past gazed upon the youthful minis- 
ter with no common emotion. And never was the marriage- 
ceremony performed with more feeling, fervour, and solem- 
nity, than by Robert Graham. When his deep-toned and 
slightly faltering voice pronounced the benediction, Linda 
drew the folds of the bridal veil over her face to conceal her 
fast-falling tears. She thought less of her own happiness, 
than the sublime renunciation of Robert. 

" Oh !" thought she, " what a glorious principle is faith, 
when it thus elevates and sustains the soul of man !" 

After the first rush of congratulation was over, Aristides 



OF THE BELLE CREOLE. 273 

approached Lis wedded pupil^ and, taking her offered hand in 
his, began : 

"OA/ uxor juvenissima, pulcJirissima y^ his voice choked. 
In vain he endeavoured to clear away its huskiness ; tears 
blinded his eyes and impeded his utterance. He drew back, 
and the classic address was lost ; but the remembrance of his 
deep sensibility, his true affection, sunk in the heart of Linda 
more impressively than the eloquence of a Cicero would have 
done. 

Near the close of the evening, Eobert and the wedded pair, 
standing apart from the rest, spoke long and earnestly to- 
gether. 

" Remain with us, my brother," cried Roland, ^^ and share 
our happy home." 

^' Leave us not yet, dear Robert," said the entreating voice 
of Linda ] " our happiness cannot be perfect without your 
participation." 

" I have fulfilled my mission here," answered the young 
minister, "and holy duties call me hence. The home of joy 
and love needs not my ministrations. Where there is sorrow 
and darkness and sin, I go to bear the message of my divine 
Master." 

" Oh ! Robert," cried Linda, " promise me, before we part, 
that we shall yet see you in a home of your own, where love 
and joy shall gild your days like ours. Let us not think of 
you as travelling alone through the darkest paths of life. I 
cannot be happy, Robert, unless I know you so." 

" I am happy, my beloved sister," cried he, with an up- 
ward, beaming glance; "but my happiness is not of this 
world. Never again will the flame of earthly love be kindled 
from the ashes of extinguished passion. To love you as a 
brother — pray for you as a Christian, looking forward to a 
more perfect communion in a holier world, will henceforth bo 



274 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT 

the chief joy and consolation of my lonely existence. Yes, 
Linda, you will still be the source of my earthly happiness ; 
but my hope and trust is in heaven." 

He paused from deep emotion, and, turning away, his lofty 
figure disappeared beneath the green archway. 

"Yes,'' said Linda to Koland, as their eyes pursued his 
retreating form, " he is, he will be happy. It would be 
sacrilege to pity him.'' 

" Yet I am guilty of that sacrilege," replied Roland. " I 
mast pity the one who, having loved thee, Linda, sees thee 
transferred to the bosom of another." 

^ Hi >K ^ H« * 

And Linda and Roland were happy. 

In the overflowing gratitude of her heart, she had gathered 
around her beautiful home the friends and benefactors of her 
childhood and youth. 

An apartment finished with classic taste, supplied with the 
finest authors of antiquity, and adorned with golden apho- 
risms, such as dignified the walls of the old log school-house, 
was set apart for Aristides Longwood. 

A large and airy room, commanding a view of a magnifi- 
cent plantation, stretching and rolling as far as the eye could 
reach, was appropriated to the grateful and munificent Hun- 
ly, who, though unable to be present at the marriage-feast 
of his young friends, visited them in the morning of their 
wedded life, and gazed with delight on the sweet face of her 
whose gentle voice had left such melodious echoes in his 
memory. 

Then there was Mrs. Lee's room, Mrs. Reveire's room, and 
Emily's room, and Mrs. Barlow's room. Never did a young 
bride commence such a patriarchal establishment. 

In a neat, white cabin, too, shaded by vines and shrubbery, 
and furnished with every comfort and many a luxury, — and 



OP THE BELLE CREOLE. 275 

invested with all the privilege of freedom, performing only 
those labours of love that form a beautiful link between the 
master and mistress, and the slave liberated by grateful affec- 
tion from the bondage which would impose an unwilling task, 
— resided our favourite Judy, absolute queen of the sable do- 
minions. 

And when Linda and Roland wandered, at the twilight 
hour, through the flower-margined avenues of their beautiful 
garden, and the fragrant orange groves that adorned their 
Southern home, they would turn aside to her cottage-door to 
greet with kindly words the old household friend. And Ro- 
land loved to listen to her eloquent memories of the past, for 
Linda always was associated with them as an angel of gladness, 
mercy, and love. There was but one forbidden theme : the 
cruelties and persecutions of her step-mother. 

^' She is dead,^^ Linda would say ; " let her ashes rest in 
peace. Remember, too, she was the mother of Robert, and 
for his sake let the past be forgiven and forgotten." 

Another name she interdicted in her presence, — the ab- 
horred name of McCleod. She knew nothing of his fate ; she 
wished not to know. 

"I am too happy ,'^ she exclaimed, '' to bear malice towards 
a human being/^ 

And there was another spot where they loved to wander, 
farther on in the shadows of the " grand old wood,^' where 
the ancient waters lifted up their voices and the winds mads 
anthems in the lone forest aisles, and that was the wigwam of 
Tuscarora, formed after the wild architecture of the savage, 
yet beautiful with all the comforts of civilized life, which Linda 
dared to offer to this independent son of the wilderness. 

True to the promise made to his white sister during their 
memorable journey, the noble Indian accepted the home she 
had prepared, and made it a resting-spot in his wild and wan- 
dering life. 



276 LINDA; OR; THE YOUNG PILOT. 

He loved to go forth to the hunting grounds, and, returning 
with the trojDhies of the chase, the shaggy skin of the bear, 
or the branching antlers of the deer, lay them at the feet of 
hii benefactress. 

Yes, Linda was happy. 



The sequel to the history of " Linda," will be found in a 
work just published, uniform with this, under the title of 
<< Robert Graham.'' 



THE END. 



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4 T. B. PETERSON'S LIST OF PUBLICATIONS. 



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6 T. B. PETERSON'S LIST OF PUBLICATIONS. 



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8 T. B. PETERSON'S LIST OF PUBLICATIONS. 



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T. B. PETERSON'S LIST OF PUBLICATIONS. 9 
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and absorbing interest, than any of its predecessors. Complete in 
two large octavo volumes of over 400 pages, printed on the best of 
paper, beautifully illustrated. It also contains correct Portraits of 
" Louise La Valliere/' and " The Hero of the Iron Mask." Price One 
Dollar. 

THE MEMOIRS OF A PHYSICIAN,- OR THE SECRET HISTORY OP 
LOUIS THE FIFTEENTH. By Alexandre Dumas. It is beautifully 
embellished with thirty engravings, which illustrate the principal 
scenes and characters of the different heroines throughout the work. 
Complete in two large octavo volumes. Price One Dollar. 

THE QUEEN'S NECKLACE : OR THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE 
COURT OF LOUIS THE SIXTEENTH. A Sequel to the Memoirs 
of a Physician. By Alexandre Dumas. It is beautifully illustrated 
"with portraits of the heroines of the work. Complete in two large 
octavo volumes of over 400 pages. Price One Dollar. 

SIX YEARS LATER; OR THE TAKING OF THE BASTILE. By 
Alexandre Dumas. Being the continuation of " The Queen's Neck- 
lace; or the Secret History of the Court of ■ Louis the Sixteenth," and 
"Memoirs of a Physician." Complete in one large octavo volume. 
Price Seventy-five cents. 

COUNTESS DE CHARNY; OR THE FALL OF THE FRENCH 
MONARCHY. By Alexandre Dumas. This work is the final con- 
clusion of the "Memoirs of a Physician," "The Queen's Necklace," 
and " Six Years Later, or Taking of the Bastile." All persons who 
have not read Dumas in this, his greatest and most instructive pro- 
duction, should begin at once, and no pleasure will be found so 
agreeable, and nothing in novel form so useful and absorbing. Com- 
plete in two volumes, beautifully illustrated. Price One Dollar. 

DIANA OF MERIDOR; THE LADY OF MONSOREAU; or France in 
the Sixteenth Century. By Alexandre Dumas. An Historical Ro- 
mance. Complete in two large octavo volumes of 538 pages, with 
numerous illustrative engravings. Price One Dollar. 

ISABEL OF BAVARIA; or the Chronicles of France for the reigu of 
Charles the Sixth. Complete in one fine octavo volume of 211 pages, 
printed on the finest white paper. Price Fifty cents. 

EDMOND DANTES. Being the sequel to Dumas' celebrated novel of 
the Count of Monte Cristo. With elegant illustrations. Complete in 
one large octavo volume of over 200 pages. Price Fifty cents. 

THE CORSICAN BROTHERS. This work has already been dramatized, 
and is now played in all the theatres of Europe and in this country, 
and it is exciting an extraordinary interest. Price Twenty -five cents. 



10 T. B. PETERSON'S LIST OF PUBLICATIONS. 
ALEXANDRE DUMAS' WORKS. 

SKETCHES IN FRANCE. By Alexandre Dumas. It is as good a 
book as Thackeray's Sketches in Ireland. Dumas never wrote a 
better book. It is the most delightful book of the season. Price 
Fifty cents. 

GENEVIEVE, OR THE CHEVALIER OF THE MAISON ROUGE. 
By Alexandre Dumas. An Historical Romance of the French Revo- 
lution. Complete in one large octavo volume of over 200 pages, 
with numerous illustrative engravings. Price Fifty cents. 

GEORGE LIPPARD'S WORKS. 

WASHINGTON AND HIS GENERALS; or, Legends of the American 
Revolution. Complete in two large octavo volumes of 638 pages, 
printed on the finest white paper. Price One Dollar. 

THE QUAKER CITY; or, the Monks of Monk Hall. A Romance of 
Philadelphia Life, Mystery and Crime. Illustrated with numerous 
Engravings. Comj>lete in two large octavo volumes of 600 pages. 
Price One Dollar, 

THE LADYE OF ALBARONE; or, the Poison Goblet. A Romance of 
the Dark Ages. Lippard's Last Work, and never before published. 
Complete in one large octavo volume. Price Seventy-five cents. 

PAUL ARDENHEIM ; the Monk of Wissahickon. A Romance of the 
Revolution. Illustra.ted with numerous engravings. Complete in 
■ two large octavo volumes, of nearly 600 pages. Price One Dollar. 

BLANCHE OF BRAND YWINE; or, September the Eleventh, 1777. A 
Romance of the Poetry, Legends, and History of the Battle of Brandy- 
wine. It makes a large octavo volume of 360 pages, printed on the 
finest white paper. Price Seventy -five cents. 

LEGENDS OF MEXICO; or. Battles of General Zachary Taylor, late 
President of the United States. Complete in one octavo volume of 
128 pages. Price Twenty-five cents. 

THE NAZARENE; or, the Last of the Washingtons. A Revelation of 
Philadelphia, New York, and Washington, in the year 1814. Com- 
plete in one volume. Price Fifty cents. 

B. DlSRAELI^S ITOVELS. 

VIVIAN GREY. By B. D'lsraeli, M. P. Complete in one large octavo 
volume of 225 joages. Price Fifty cents. 

THE YOUNG DUKE ; or the younger days of George the Fourth. By 
B, D'lsraeli, M. P. One octavo volume. Price Thirty-eight cents. 

VENETIA; or, Lord Byron and his Daughter. By B. D'lsraeli, M, P. 
Complete in one large octavo volume. Price Fifty cents. 

HENRIETTA TEMPLE. A Love Story. By B. D'lsraeli, M. P. Com- 
plete in one large octavo volume. Price Fifty cents. 

CONTARINA FLEMING. An Autobiography. By B. D'lsraeli, M. P. 
One volume, octavo. Price Thirty-eight cents. 

MIRIAM ALROY. A Romance of the Twelfth Century. By B. D'I?raeli, 
M. P. One volume octavo. Price Thirty-eight cents. 



T. B. PETEHSOK'S LIST OF PUBLICATIONS. 11 
EMERSON BENNETT'S WORKS. 

CLARA MORELAXD. This is a powerfully -written romance. The 
characters are boldly drawn, the plot striking, the incidents replete 
with thrilling interest, and the language and descriptions natural and 
graphic, as are all of Mr. Bennett's Works. 336 pages. Price 50 
cents in paper cover, or One Dollar in cloth, gilt. 

VIOLA: OR, ADVENTURES IX THE FAR SOUTH-WEST. Com- 
plete in one large volume. Price 50 cents in paper cover, or 75 cents 
in cloth, gilt. 

THE FORGED WILL. Complete in one large volume, of over 300 
pages, paper cover, price 50 cents j or bound in cloth, gilt, price $1 00. 

KATE CLAREXDOX; OR, XECROMAXCY IX THE WILDERXESS. 
Price 50 cents in paper cover, or 75 cents in cloth, gilt. 

BRIDE OF THE WILDERXESS. Complete in one large volume. 
Price 50 cents in paper cover, or 75 cents in cloth, gilt. 

THE PIOXEER-S DAUGHTER; and THE UNKXOWX COUNTESS. 
By Emerson Bennett. Price 50 cents. 

HEIRESS OF BELLEFOXTE : and WALDE-WARREX. A Tale of 
Circumstantial Evidence. By Emerson Bennett. Price 50 cents. 

ELLEX XORBURY; OR, THE ADVEXTURES OF AX ORPHAN. 
Complete in one large volume, price 50 cents in paper cover, or in 
cloth gilt. Si 00. 

MISS LESLIE'S NEW GOOK BOOK 

MISS LESLIE'S X^EW RECEIPTS FOR COOKIXG. Comprising new 
and approved methods of preparing all kinds of soups, fish, oysters, 
terrapins, turtle, vegetables, meats, poultry, game, sauces, pickles, 
sweet meats, cakes, pies, puddings, confectionery, rice, Indian meal 
preppirations of all kinds, domestic liquors, perfumery, remedies, 
laundry-work, needle-work, letters, additional receipts, etc. Also, 
list of articles suited to go together for breakfasts, dinners, and sup- 
pers, and much useful information and many miscellaneous subjects 
connected with general house-wifery. It is an elegantly printed duo- 
decimo volume of 520 pages ; and in it there will be found One Thou- 
sand and Eleven new Eeceijits — all useful — some ornamental — and all 
invaluable to every lady, miss, or family in the world. This work has 
had a very extensive sale, and many thousand copies have been sold, 
and the demand is increasing yearly, being the most complete work 
of the kind published in the world, and also the latest and best, as, 
in addition to Cookery, its receipts for making cakes and confec- 
tionery are unequalled by any other work extant. Xew edition, en- 
larged and improved, and handsomely bound. Price One Dollar a 
copy only. This is the only new Cook Book by Miss Leslie. 

GEORGE SANDS^ WORKS, 

FIRST AXD TRUE LOVE. A True Love Story. By George Sand, 
author of* Consuelo," " Indiana," etc. It is one of the most charm- 
ing and interesting works ever published. Illustrated. Price 51- cents. 

IXDIAXA. By George Sand, author of "First and True Love," etc. 
A very bewitching and interesting work. Price 50 cents. 

THE CORSAIR. A Venetian Tale. Price 25 cents. 



12 T. B. PETERSON'S LIST OF PUBLICATIONS. 

HUMOEOUS AMERICAN WORKS. 

WITH ORIGINAL ILLUSTRATIONS BY DARLEY AND OTHERS, 

AND BEAUTIFULLY ILLUMINATED COVEES. 

We have just published new and beautiful editions of the following 
HUMOROUS AMERICAN WORKS. They are published in the best 
possible style, full of original Illustrations, by Darley, descriptive of all the 
best scenes in each work, with Illuminated Covers, with new and beautiful 
designs on each, and are printed on the finest and best of white paper. 
There are no works to compare with them in point of wit and humor, in 
the whole world. The price of each work is Fifty cents only. 

THE FOLLOWING ARE THE NAMES OF THE WORKS. 

MAJOR JOXES' COURTSHIP: detailed, with other Scenes, Incidents, 
and Adventures, in a Series of Letters, by himself. With Thirteen 
Illustrations from designs by Darley. Price Fifty cents. 

DRAMA IN POKERVILLE: the Bench and Bar of Jurytown, and 
other Stories. By "Everpoint," (J. M. Field, of the St. Louis 
Reveille.) With Illustrations from designs by Darley. Fifty cents. 

CHARCOAL SKETCHES ; or. Scenes in the Metropolis. By Joseph C. 
Xeal, author of ''Peter Ploddy," ''Misfortunes of Peter Faber," etc. 
With Illustrations. Price Fifty cents. 

YANKEE AMONGST THE MERMAIDS, and other Waggeries and 
Vagaries. By W. E. Burton, Comedian. With Illustrations by 
Darley. Price Fifty cents. 

MISFORTUNES OF PETER FABER, and other Sketches. By the 
author of " Charcoal Sketches." With Illustrations by Darley and 
others. Price Fifty cents. 

MAJOR JONES' SKETCHES OP TRAVEL, comprising the Scenes, 
Incidents, and Adventures in his Tour from Georgia to Canada. 
With Eight Illustrations from Designs by Darley. Price Fifty cents. 

STREAKS OF SQUATTER LIFE, and Far West Scenes. A Series of 
humorous Sketches, descriptive of Incidents and Character in the 
Wild West. By the author of "Major Jones' Courtship," " Swallow- 
ing Oysters Alive," etc. With Illustrations from designs by Darley. 
Price Fifty cents. 

QUARTER RACE IN KENTUCKY, AND OTHER STORIES. By 
W. T. Porter, Esq., of the New York Spirit of the Times. With 
Eight Illustrations and designs by Darley. Complete in one volume. 
Price Fifty cents. 

SIMON SUGGS.— ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN SIMON SUGGS, late 
of the Tallapoosa Volunteers, together with "Taking the Census," 
and other Alabama Sketches. By a Country Editor. With a Portrait 
from Life, and Nine other Illustrations by Darley. Price Fifty cents. 

RIVAL BELLES. By J. B. Jones, author of "Wild Western Scenes," 
etc. This is a very humorous and entertaining work, and one that 
will bo recommended by all after reading it. Price Fifty cents. 



T. B. PETERSON'S LIST OF PUBLICATIONS. 13 
HUMOROUS AMERICAN WORKS. 

YANKEE YAEXS AND YANKEE LETTERS. By Sam Slick, alias 
Judge Haliburtun. Full of the drollest humor that has ever emanated 
from the pen of any author. Every page will set you in a roar. 
Price Fifty cents. 

LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF COL. VANDERBOMB, AND THE 
EXPLOITS OF HIS PRIVATE SECRETARY. By J. B. Jones, 
author of "The Rival Belles," " Wild Western Scenes," etc. Price 
Fifty cents. 

BIG BEAR OF ARKANSAS,, and other Sketches, illustrative of Charac- 
ters and Incidents in the South and South-West. Edited by Wm. T. 
Porter. With Illustrations b}" Darley. Price Fifty cents. 

MAJOR JONES' CHRONICLES OF PINEVILLE; embracing Sketches 
of Georgia Scenes, Incidents, and Characters. By the author of 
"Major Jones' Courtship," etc. With Hlustrations by Darley. Price 
Fifty cents. 

LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF PERCIVAL MABERRY. By J. H. 

Ingraham. It will interest and please everybody. All who enjoy a 
good laugh should get it at once. Price Fifty cents. 

FRANK FORESTER'S QUORNDON HOUNDS j or, A Virginian at 
Melton Mowbray. By H. A7. Herbert, Esq. With Illustrations. 
Price Fifty cents. 

PICKINGS FROM THE PORTFOLIO OF THE REPORTER OF THE 
"NEW ORLEANS PICAYUNE." Comprising Sketches of the 
Eastern Yankee, the Western Hoosier, and such others as make up 
society in the great Metropolis of the South. With Illustrations by 
Darley. Price Fifty cents. 

FRANK FORESTER'S SHOOTING BOX. By the author of "The 
Quorndon Hounds," " The Deer Stalkers," etc. With Illustrations by 
Darley. Price Fifty cents. 

STRAY SUBJECTS ARRESTED AND BOUND OVER; being the 
Fugitive Offspring of the "Old Un" and the "Young Un," that have 
been "' Laying Around Loose," and are now " tied up" for fast keep- 
ing. With Illustrations by Darley. Price Fifty cents. 

FRANK FORESTER'S DEER STALKERS ; a Tale of Circumstantial 
evidence. By the author of "My Shooting Bos," "The Quorndon 
Hounds," etc. AVith Illustrations. Price Fifty cents. 

ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN FARRAGO. By Hon. H. H. Bracken- 
ridge. For Sixteen years one of the Judges of the Supreme Court of 
the State of Penns^^lvania. With Illustrations from designs by Darley. 
Price Fifty cents. 

THE CHARMS OF PARIS ; or. Sketches of Travel and Adventures by 
Night and Day, of a Gentleman of Fortune and Leisure. From his 
private journal. Price Fifty cents. 

PETER PLODDY, and other oddities. By the author of " Charcoal 
Sketches," "Peter Faber," &c. With Illustrations from original 
designs, by Darley. Price Fifty cents. 

WIDOW RUGBY'S HUSBAND, a Night at the Ugly Man's, and other 
Tales of Alabama. By author of " Simon Suggs." With original 
Illustrations. Price Fifty cents. 



14 T. B. PETERSON'S LIST OF PUBLICATIONS. 
HUMOROUS AMEHICAN WORKS. 

MAJOR O'REGAX'S ADVEXTURES. By Hon. H. H. Brackenridge. 

With Illustrations by Barley. Price Fifty cents. 

SOL. SMITH; THEATRICAL APPRENTICESHIP AXD AXECBOTAL 
RECOLLECTIONS OF SOL. SMITH, Esq., Comedian, Lawyer, 
etc. Illustrated by Barley. Containing Early Scenes, Wanderings 
in the West, Cincinnati in Early Life, etc. Price Fifty cents. 

SOL. SMITH'S NEW BOOK; THE THEATRICAL JOURNEY-WORK 
ANB ANECBOTAL RECOLLECTIONS OF SOL. SMITH, Esq., 
■with a portrait of Sol. Smith. It comprises a Sketch of the second 
Seven years of his professional life, together with some Sketches of 
Adventure in after years. Price Fifty cents. 

POLLY PEABLOSSOM'S WEBBING, and other Tales. By the author 
of "Major Jones' Courtship," "Streaks of Squatter Life," etc. Price 
Fifty cents. 

FRANK FORESTER'S WARWICK WOOBLANBS; or, Things as 
they were Twenty Years Ago. By the author of " The Quorndon 
Hounds," "My Shooting Box," "The Beer Stalkers," etc. With 
Illustrations, illuminated. Price Fifty cents. 

LOUISIANA SWAMP BOCTOR. By Madison Tensas, M. B., Ex. V. P. 

M. S. U. Ky. Author of " Cupping on the Sternum." With Illustra- 
tions by Barley. Price Fifty cents, 

NEW ORLEANS SKETCH BOOK, by "Stahl." author of the "Port- 
folio of a Southern Medical Student." With Illustrations from 
designs by Barley. Price Fifty cents. 



ITALIAH LANGUAGES. 

Any person unacquainted with either of the above languages, can, with, 
the aid of these works, be enabled to read, write and sjjeak the language of 
either, without the aid of a teacher or any oral instruction whatever, pro- 
vided they pay strict attention to the instructions laid down in each book, 
and that nothing shall be passed over, without a thorough investigation 
of the subject it involves : by doing which they will be able to sjieah, read 
or write either language, at their will and pleasure. Either of these works 
is invaluable to any persons wishing to learn these languages, and are 
worth to any one One Hundred times their cost. These works have 
already run through several large editions in this country, for no person 
ever buys one without recommending it to his friends. 

FRENCH WITHOUT A MASTER. In Six Easy Lessons. 
GERMAN WITHOUT A MASTER. In Six Easy Lessons. 
SPANISH VriTHOUT A MASTER. In Four Easy Lessons. 
ITALIAN WITHOUT A MASTER. In Five Easy Lessons. 
LATIN WITHOUT A MASTER. In Six Easy Lessons. 

Price of either of the above Works, separate, 25 cents each — or the 

■whole five may be had for One Bollar, and will be sent free of postage to 

any one on their remitting that amount to the publisher, in a letter. 



T. B. PETERSON'S LIST OF FUELICATIONS. 15 
WORKS BY THE BEST AUTHORS. 

FLIRTATIOXS IX AMERICA; OR HIGH LIFE IN XEW YORK. A 

capital book. 2S5 pages. Price 50 cents. 

DON QUIXOTTE.— ILLUSTRATED LIFE AND ADVENTURES OP 
DON QUIXOTTE DE LA iMANCHA, and his Squire Saucho Panza, 
with all the original notes. 300 pages. Price 75 cents. 

WILD SPORTS IN THE WEST. By W. H. Maxwell, author of " Pic- 
torial Life and Adventures of Grace O'Malley." Price 50 cents. 

THE ROMISH COXFESSIOXAL ; or, the Auricular Confession and Spi- 
ritual direction of the Romish Church. Its History, Consequences, 
and policy of the Jesuits. By M. Michelet. Price 50 cents. 

GENEVRA ,• or, the History of a Portrait. By Miss Fairfield, one of the 
best writers in America. 200 pages. Price 50 cents. 

WILD OATS SOWN ABROAD ; OR, OX" AND OFF SOUNDINGS. It 
is the Private Journal of a Gentleman of Le-isure and Education, and 
of a highly cultivated mind, in making the tour of Euro^De. It shows 
up all the High and Low Life to be found in all the fashionable re- 
sorts in Paris. Price 50 cents in paper cover, or 75 cents in cloth, gilt. 

SALATHIEL; OR, THE WANDERING JEW. By Rev. George Croly. 
One of the best and most world-wide celebrated books that has ever 
been printed. Price 50 cents. 

LLORENTE'S HISTORY OF THE INQUISITION IN SPAIX". Only 
edition jDublished in this country. Price 50 cents ; or handsomely 
bound in muslin, gilt, price 75 cents. 

DR. HOLLICK'S NEW BOOK. ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY, 
with a large dissected plate of the Human Figure, colored to Life. 
By the celebrated Dr. Holliek, author of "The Family Physician," 
''Origin of Life," etc. Price One Dollar. 

DR. HOLLICK'S FAMILY PHYSICIAN; OR, THE TRUE ART OF 
HEALING THE SICK. A book that should be in the house of 
every family. It is a perfect treasure. Price 25 cents. 

MYSTERIES OF THREE CITIES. Boston, New York, and Philadel- 
phia. Revealing the secrets of society in these various cities. All 
should read it. By A. J. H. Duganne. 200 pages. Price 50 cents. 

RED INDIANS OF NEWFOUXDLAND. A beautifully illustrated In- 
dian Stoiy, by the author of the " Prairie Bird." Price 50 cents. 

HARRIS'S ADVENTURES IN AFRICA. This book is a rich treat. 
Two volumes. Price One Dollar, or handsomely bound, $1 50. 

THE PETREL; OR, LOVE ON THE OCEAX. A sea novel equal to the 
best. By Admiral Fisher. 200 pages. Price 50 cents. 

ARISTOCRACY, OR LIFE AMOXG THE "UPPER TEN." A true 
novel of fashionable life. By J. A. Nunes, Esq. Price 50 cents. 

THE CABIN AXD PARLOR. By J. Thornton Randolph. It ig 
beautifully illustrated. Price 50 cents in paper cover ; or a finer edi- 
tion, printed on thicker and better paper, and handsomely bound in 
muslin, gilt, is published for One Dollar. 

LIFE IX" THE SOUTH. A companion to " Uncle Tom's Cabin." By 
C. H. Wiley. Beautifully illustrated from original designs by Dar- 
ley. Price 50 cents. 



16 T. B. PETERSON'S LIST OF PUBLICATIONS. 
WORKS BY THE BEST AUTHORS. 

SKETCHES IN IRELAND. By William M. Thackeray, author of 
"Vanity Fair," "History of Pendennis," etc. Price 50 cents. 

THE ROMAN TRAITOR; OR, THE DAYS OF CATALINE AND 
CICERO. By Henry William Herbert. This is one of the most 
powerful Roman stories in the English language, and is of itself suffi- 
^ cient to stamp the writer as a powerful man. Complete in two large 
volumes, of over 250 pages each, paper cover, j^rice One Dollar, or 
bound in one volume, cloth, for $1 25. 

THE LADY'S WORK-TABLE BOOK. Full of plates, designs, diagrams, 
and illustrations to learn all kinds of needlework. A work every 
Lady should possess. Price 50 cents in paper cover; or bound in 
crimson cloth, gilt, for 75 cents. 

THE COQUETTE. One of the best books ever written. One volume, oc- 
tavo, over 200 pages. Price 50 cents. 

WHITEFRIARS; OR, THE DAYS OF CHARLES THE SECOND. An 

Historical Romance. SjDlendidly illustrated with original designs, by 
Chapin. It is the best historical romance published for years. Price 
50 cents. 
WHITEHALL ; OR, THE TIMES OF OLIVER CROMWELL. By the 
author of "Whitefriars." It is a work which, for just popularity and 
intensity of interest, has not been equalled since the publication of 
" Waverly." Beautifully illustrated. Price 50 cents. 

THE SPITFIRE. A Nautical Romance. By Captain Chamier, author 
of " Life and Adventures of Jack Adams." Illustrated. Price 50 cents. 

UNCLE TOM'S CABIN AS IT IS. One large volume, illustrated, 
bound in cloth. Price $1 25. 

FATHER CLEMENT. By Grace Kennady, author of "Dunallen/* 
"Abbey of Innismoyle," etc. A beautiful book. Price 50 cents. 

THE ABBEY OF INNISMOYLE. By Grace Kennady, author of " Fa- 
ther Clement." Equal to any of her former works. Price 25 cents. 

THE FORTUNE HUNTER ; a novel of New York society, Upper and 
Lower Tendom. By Mrs. Anna Cora Mowatt. Price 38 cents. 

POCKET LIBRARY OF USEFUL KNOWLEDGE. New and enlarged 
edition, with numerous engravings. Twenty thousand copies sold. 
AVe have never seen a volume embracing any thing like the same 
quantity of useful matter. The work is really a treasure. It should 
speedily find its way into every family. It also contains a large and 
entirely new Map of the United States, with full page portraits of 
the Presidents of the United States, from Washington until the pre- 
sent time, executed in the finest style of the art. Price. 50 cents a 
copy only. 

HENRY CLAY'S PORTRAIT. Nagle's correct, fulllength Mezzotinto 
Portrait, and only true likeness ever published of the distinguished 
Statesman. Engraved by Sartain. Size, 22 by 30 inches. Price 
$1 00 a copy only. Originally sold at $5 00 a copy. 

THE MISER'S HEIR; OR, THE YOUNG MILLIONAIRE. A story 
of a Guardian and his Ward. A prize novel. By P. H. Myers, author 
of the " Emigrant Squire." Price 50 cents in paper cover, or 75 cents 
in cloth, gilt. 



GREATMENDUCEMENTS F0RJ856! 

i__JO£JSJ£JllM^^ UP CLUBS! 

PETERSONS MAGAZINE 

The best and cheapest in the World for Ladies. 

This popular Magazine, already the cheapest and best Monthly of its kind in the world, 
will be greatly improved for 1&56. It will contain 900 pages of double-column reading 
matter; from twenty to thirty Steel Plates; and over four hundred Wood Engravings: 
which is proportionately more than any periodical, of any price, ever yet gaye. 

ITS TURILLIJ^^a ORIGJJi\lL STORIES 

Are pronounced, by the press, the best published anywhere. The editors are Mrs. Ann S. 
Stephens, author of " The Old Homestead." '■ Fashion and Famine," and Charles J. Peter- 
son, author of " Kate Aylesford." '• The Valley Farm," etc., etc. ; and they are assisted by 
all the most popular female writers of America. New talent is continually being added, 
regardless of expense, so as to keep " Peterson's Magazine" unapproachable in merit. 
Morality and virtue are always inculcated. 

ITS COLORED FASHION PLATES IN ADVANCE. 

^^^ It is the only Magazine ichose Fashion Plates can he relied on. "^^ 

Each Number contains a Fashion Plate, engraved on Steel, colored a la mode, and of 
unrivalled beauty. The Paris, London, Philadelphia, and New York Fashions a''e de- 
scribed, at length, each month. Every number also contains a dozen or more New Styles, 
engraved on Wood. Also, a Pattern, from which a dress, mantilla, or child's costume, 
can be cut, without the aid of a mantua-maker, so that each number, in this way, will 
save a year's subscription. 

3t5 Hcprh jKfjjntinlH, m\ ntjjjr ItrH (Ungrnnings. 

Its Illustrations excel those of any other Magazine, each number containing a superb 
Steel Engraving, either mezzotint or line, beside the Fashion Plate; and, in addition, 
numerous other Engravings, Wood Cuts, Patterns, &c., &c. The Engravings, at the end 
of the year, alone are worth the subscription price. 

PATTERNS FOR CROTCHET, NEEDLEWORK, etc., 

In the greatest profusion, are gir^n in every number, with instructions how to work 
them; also. Patterns in EmlDroidery, Inserting, Broiderie Anglaise, Netting. Lace-making, 
Ac, Ac. Also, Patterns for Sleeves, Collars, and Chemisettes; Patterns in Bead-work, llair- 
work. Shell-work; Handkerchief Corners; Names for Marking and Initials. Each num- 
ber contains a Paper Flower, with directions how to make it. A piece of new and fashion- 
able Music is also published every month. On the whole, it is the most complete Ladies' 
Magazine in the World. Try it for One Ye.4R. 

TERMS: — ALWAYS IN ADVANCE. 



One copy for One Year, - $2 00 
Three copies for One Year, 6 00 



Five copies for One Year, - $7 50 
Eight copies for One Year, 10 00 



Sixteen copies for One Year, . . - $20 00 
FRESAIUI^S FOB. aiSTTIIfO- UF GZiUBS. 

Three. Five, Eight, or Sixteen copies, make a Club. To every person getting up a Club, 
our " Port-Folio of Art,'" containing Fifty Engravings, will be given gratis; or. if pre- 
ferred, a copy of the Magazine for 18o5. For a Club of Sixteen, an extra copy of the 
Magazine for 1856, will be sent in addition. 

Address, post-j,aid, CHAELES J. PETERSON", 

No. 103 Chestnut Street, Pliiladelpliia. 

Specimens sent, gratuitously, if written for, post-paid. 



M^ All Postmasters constituted Agents. But any person may get up a Club. 
^g= Persons remitting will please get the Postmaster to register their letters, in which 
case the remittance may be at our risk. When the sum is large, a di-aft should be pro- 
red, the cost of which may be deducted from the amount. 

31 



T. B. PSTERSON'S 

WHOLESALE AND RETAIL 
Cheap Book, Magazine, Newspaper, Publishing 

and Bookselling Establishment, is at 
iVo. lOS Che§tsaiit JStreet, Fhiladelplila. 



T. B PETEKSON has the satisfaction to announce to the public, that he has removed 
to the new and spacious BROWN STONE BUILDING, NO. 102 CHESTNUT STREET, 
just completed by the city authorities on the Girard Estate, liuown as the most central 
and best situation in the city of Philadelphia. As it is the Model Book Store of the 
Country, we will describe it: It is the largest, most spacious, and best arranged Retail 
and Wholesale Cheap Book and Publishing Establishment in the United States. It is 
built, by the Girard Estate, of Connecticut sand-stone, in a richly ornamental style. 
The whole front of the lower story, except that taken up by the doorway, is occupied' by 
two large plate glass windows, a single plate to each window, costing together over three 
thousand dollars. On entering and looking up, you find alDOve you a ceiling sixteen 
teet high ; while, on gazing before, you perceive a vista of One Hundred and Fifty-Seven 
feet. The retail counters extend back for eighty feet, and, being double, afford counter- 
room of One Hundred and Sixty feet in length. There is also over Three Thousand fe/d 
of skdvin-g in the retail part of the store alone. This part is devoted to the retail busi- 
ness, and as it is the most spacious in the country, furnishes also the best and largest 
assortment of all kinds of books to be found in the country. It is fitted up in the moat 
sjperb style; the shelvings are all painted in Florence white, with gilded cornices foi 
the book shelves. 

Behind the retail part of the store, at about ninety feet from the entrance, is the 
counting-room, twenty feet square, railed neatly off, and surmounted by a most beauti- 
ful dome of stained glass. In the rear of this is the wholesale and packing department, 
extending a further distance of about sixty feet, with desks and packing counters for the 
establishmeut, etc., etc. All goods are received and shipped from the back of the store, 
having a fine avenue on the side of Girard Bank for the purpose, leading out to Third 
Street, so as not to interfere with and block up the front of the store on Chestnut Street. 
The cellar, of the entire depth of the store, is filled with, printed copies of Mr. Peterson's 
own publications, printed from his own stereotype plates, of which he generally keeps 
on hand an edition of a thousand each, making a stock, of his own publications alone, 
of over three hundred thousand volumes, constantly on hand. 

T. B. PETERSON is warranted in saying, that he is able to offer such inducements 
to the Trade, and all others, to favor him with their orders, as cannot be excelled by any 
book establishment in the country. In proof of this, T. B. PETERSON begs leave to 
refer to his great facilities of getting stock of all kinds, his dealing direct with all the 
Pubmhing Houses in the country, and also to his own long list of Publications, consisting 
of the best and most popular productions of the most talented authors of the United 
States and Great Britain, and to his very extensive stock, embracing every work, new or 
old, published in the United States. 

T. B. PETERSON will be most happy to supply all orders for any books at all, no 
matter by whom published, in advance of all others, and at publishers' lowest cash 
prices. He respectfully invites Country Merchants, Booksellers, Pedlars, Canvassers, 
Agents, the Trade, Strangers in the city, and the public generally, to call and examine 
his extensive collection of cheap and standard publications of all kinds, comprising a 
most magnificent collection of CHEAP BOOKS, MAGAZINES, NOVELS, STANDARD 
and POPULAR WORKS of all kinds, BIBLES, PRAYER BOOKS, ANNUALS, GIFT 
BOOKS, ILLUSTRATED WORKS, ALBUMS and JUVENILE WORKS of all kinds, 
GAMES of all kinds, to suit all ages, taste.s, etc., which he is selling to his customers 
and the public at much lower prices than they can be purchased elsewhere. Being lo- 
cated at No. 102 CHESTNUT Street, the great thoroughfare of the city, and BUYING 
his stock outright in large quantities, and not selling on commission, he can and will 
sell Ihcm on such terms as will defy all competition. Call and examine our stock, you 
will find it to be the best, largest and cheapest in the city; and you will also be sure to 
find all the hei^t, latest, popido.r. and clieapcst works published in this country or else- 
where, for sale at the lowest prices. 

jeS°"Call in person and examine our stock, or send your orders hy mail direct, to tho 
CILKAP BOOKSELLING and PUBLISHING ESTABLISHMENT of 

T. B. PETERSON, 
No. lOS Cliestuut Street, Fkiladelpliia» 

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